- Echolocation and object recognition
- Sensorimotor integration
- Flight kinematics
Coordination of flight and echolocation behavior
Bats emit precisely timed sonar vocalizations while flying at high speeds and maneuvering around obstacles to track and capture moving prey. Sonar vocalizations are coordinated with the wing beat phase in order to produce loud sounds with minimal additional energy costs. However, bats interrupt this coordinated behavior when producing sound groups, where sonar calls are emitted at different phases of the wing beat. We seek to understand the precise timing of sound production in relation to complex flight behavior. (Falk, Jakobsen, Surlykke, & Moss, 2014))
Texture discrimination using echolocation
Echolocating bats navigate obstacles and identify prey using sonar by emitting high frequency vocalizations and listening to the returning echoes. We are interested in determining the extent that bats identify objects of different textures using echolocation. Flight behavior as well as echolocation information analysis indicates that bats combine information from multiple echoes in order to successfully identify textured objects.
Video animations from (Falk, Williams, Aytekin, & Moss, 2011).
Groove discrimination using echolocation
Building on our study of texture discrimination, we used the same setup to investigate whether bats could discriminate the orientation of a target. We fabricated small spheres with grooves drilled and presented them horizontally and vertically and trained the bat to hit the horizontal grooved object. The groove orientation can only be determined by the bat through successive pings as it moves around the objects. This allowed us to determine whether the bat was identifying objects using only a single echo return or by combining information from successive vocalizations and it's position in space relative to the objects. The work was presented at ICN 2007: (Falk & Moss, 2007).
Bat wing hairs & flight control
Insectivorous bats rely on echolocation and other sensory modalities to perform complex flight behaviors as they track flying prey and maneuver around obstacles. Microscopic hairs on the bat’s wing contribute sensory information to adaptive flight behaviors. The wing hairs are hypothesized to provide the flying bat with sensory information about air currents across the wing membrane. Neurophysiological studies have shown that bat wing hairs are directionally sensitive to airflow, and behavioral studies have shown that wing hair removal results in a decrease in the bat’s flight maneuverability (Sterbing-D’Angelo et al., 2011).
- Falk, B., Jakobsen, L., Surlykke, A., & Moss, C. F. (2014). Bats coordinate sonar and flight behavior as they forage in open and cluttered environments. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 4356-4364. doi:10.1242/jeb.114132
- Yossi Yovel, Ben Falk, Cynthia F. Moss, Nachum Ulanovsky (2011). Active Control of Acoustic Field-of-View in a Biosonar System PLOS Biology. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001150
- Sterbing-D'Angelo, S., Chadha, M., Chiu, C., Falk, B., Xian, W., Barcelo, J., Zook, J. M., Moss, C. F. (2011). Bat wing sensors support flight control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1018740108
- Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Adaptive behavior for texture discrimination by the free-flying big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology. doi:10.1007/s00359-010-0621-6
- Yovel, Y., Falk, B., Moss, C. F., & Ulanovsky, N. (2010). Optimal Localization by Pointing Off Axis. Science, 327(5966), 701-704. doi:10.1126/science.1183310
- Falk B., Varadarajan D. and Moss C.F. (2012). The role of wing airflow sensors in bat flight control under wind gust conditions. Front. Behav. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnbeh.2012.27.00010 [abstract] [pdf]
- Falk, B., Yovel, Y., Livingston, S., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Comparison of Sonar Behavior During Landing in Laryngeal and Lingual Echolocating Bats, Eptesicus fuscus and Rousettus aegyptiacus. Presented at the 3rd Symposium on Acoustic Communication by Animals, Cornell University. [pdf]
- Falk, B., Jakobsen, L., Varadarajan, D., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Adaptive sonar and flight behavior of the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Baltimore, MD. [pdf]
- Falk, B., Aytekin, M., & Moss, C. F. (2010). Texture Discrimination by Echolocation in the Big Brown Bat. Presented at the Acoustical Society of America. [abstract] [pdf]
- Falk, B., Zook, J. M., Sterbing-D'Angelo, & Moss, C. F. (2008). Wing Surface Tactile Receptors: Electron Microscopy and Flight Behavior. Presented at the North American Society for Bat Research. [pdf]
- Zook, J. M., Falk, B., Sterbing-D'Angelo, S. J., & Moss, C. F. (2008). Separate contributions of dorsal and ventral wing-surface tactile receptors to bat flight behavior. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience. [abstract]
- Falk, B., & Moss, C. F. (2007). Motion Dependent Object Representation in Eptesicus fuscus. Presented at the International Congress of Neuroethology. [pdf]
- Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., Ghose, K., & Moss, C. F. (2005). Texture discrimination by echolocation: acoustics and behavior. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience [abstract] [pdf]
- Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., Ghose, K., & Moss, C. F. (2005). Object Discrimination in the Flying Bat, Eptesicus Fuscus. Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology [abstract] [pdf]
Links to code repositories - published under MIT license unless otherwise noted. Shoot me an email if you have any questions. SVN repositories being hosted on a raspberry pi
This work was supported in part by training grant DC-00046 from the NIDCD of the NIH.