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Journal Article

The auditory cortex of the bat Molossus molossus: Disproportionate search call frequency representation

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Macías, S., Mora, E. C., Kössl, M., Abel, C., & Foeller, E. (2009). The auditory cortex of the bat Molossus molossus: Disproportionate search call frequency representation. Hearing Research, 250(1–2), 19-26. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2009.01.006.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-FE13-4
The extent of the auditory cortex in the bat Molossus molossus was electrophysiologically investigated. Best frequencies and minimum thresholds of neural tuning curves were analyzed to define the topography of the auditory cortex. The auditory cortex encompasses an average cortical surface area of 5 mm2. Characteristic frequencies are tonotopically organized with low frequencies being represented caudally and high frequencies rostrally. However, a large interindividual variability in the tonotopic organization was found. In most animals, the caudal 50% was tonotopically organized. More anterior, a variable area was found. A distinct field with reversed topography was not consistently found. Within the demarcated auditory cortex, frequencies of 30–40 kHz, which correspond to the frequency range of search calls emitted during hunting, are overrepresented, occupying 49% of the auditory cortex surface. High minimum thresholds >50 dB SPL were found in a narrow dorsal narrow area. Neurons with multipeaked tuning curves (20%) preferentially were located in the dorsal part of the auditory cortex. In accordance with studies in other bat species, the auditory cortex of M. molossus is highly sensitive to the dominant frequencies of biosonar search calls.