Why 'blind' bats never collide while flying at night
A new study has showed that bats emit "echolocation sounds" and they are equipped with a spatial map that represents different echo delays that helps them to adapt to external factors.
The study conducted by Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM) examined that the number of activated neurons in bats' brain increased when they flied in too close to an object.
Study director Dr. Uwe Firzlaff at the TUM Chair of Zoology, said that the map was similar to the navigation systems used in cars in that it showed bats the terrain in which they were moving and the major difference, was that the bats' inbuilt system warned them of an impending collision by enhancing neuronal signals for objects that were in close proximity.
Bats evaluate their own motion and map it against the lateral distance to objects," elaborates the researcher.
Firzlaff concluded that the results showed that the nerve cells interpret the bats' rapid responses to external stimuli by enlarging the active area in the brain to display important information.
(Posted on 02-09-2014)