Groove Discrimination using Echolocation

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Hanging bats

    Our studies of texture discrimination indicated that bats likely combine multiple echo returns from each target to successfully identify them. In this study we fabricated small spheres with grooves drilled either horizontally or vertically. We trained the bat to hit the horizontal grooved object. The reason for the fabricated grooves was to give the bat an acoustic cue for discrimination. However, the groove orientation can only be determined by the bat through successive pings as it moves around the objects. This allowed us to dermine whether the bat was identifying the objects using only a single echo return or by combining information from successive vocalizations. Bats were successfully trained in the task. The work was presented at the International Congress of Neuroethology in 2007.