The Combination of Echolocation Emission and Ear Reception Enhances Directional Spectral Cues of the Big Brown Bat, Eptesicus Fuscus

J Acoust Soc Am. 1997 Mar;101(3):1723-33. doi: 10.1121/1.418271.


The acoustic information used by bats is produced by a combination of the properties of the sound emission and the reception at the eardrum. The potential localization cues used by bats can only be fully revealed when the magnitude spectra of the emission and the external ear are convolved to produce the echolocation combination magnitude spectra. The spatially dependent changes in the magnitude spectra of the echolocation combination of Eptesicus fuscus are described. The emission and external ear magnitude spectra act together to enhance the potential localization cues. In the echolocation combination, the spectral peaks are sharpened and there is greater contrast in intensity between peaks and notches when compared to the spectra of the ear alone. The spectral localization cues in the echolocation combination appear to be restricted to a cone of space of approximately +/-30 degrees.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Chiroptera / physiology*
  • Ear, External
  • Echolocation / physiology*