Volume 106, Issue 1, July 1999
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
Cortical representation of spatiotemporal pattern of firing evoked by echolocation signals: Population encoding of target features in real time106(1999); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.427070View Description Hide Description
Target perception in echolocating bats entails the generation of an acoustic image of the target in the auditory cortex. By integrating information conveyed in the sequence of acoustic echoes, the population of cortical neurons in hypothesized to encode different target features based on its spatiotemporal pattern of neural-spike firing during the course of echolocation. A biologically plausible approach to the cortical representation of target features is employed by using electrophysiological data recorded from the auditory cortex of the FM bat, Myotis lucifugus. A single-neuron model of delay-sensitive neurons is first approximated by the formulation of a Gaussian function with different variables to represent the delay-tuning properties of individual cortical neurons. A cortical region consisting of delay-sensitive neurons organized topographically according to best frequency (i.e., tontopically organized) is then modeled with multiple layers of the single-neuron model. A mechanism is developed to represent and encode the responses of these neurons based on time-dependent, incoming echo signals. The time-varying responses of the population of neurons are mapped spatially on the auditory-cortical surface as a cortical response map (CORMAP). The model is tested using phantom targets with single and multiple glints. These simulation results provide further validation of the current auditory framework as a biomimetic mechanism for capturing time-varying, acoustic stimuli impinging in the bat's ears, and the neural representation of acoustic stimulus features by saptiotemporal-firing patterns in the cortical population.
Vocal production mechanisms in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus): The presence and implications of amplitude modulation106(1999); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.427079View Description Hide Description
In this paper acoustic evidence is presented for the presence of amplitude modulation in budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) contact calls and learned English vocalizations. Previously, acoustic analyses of budgerigar vocalizations have consisted solely of visual inspection of spectrograms or power spectra (derived from Fourier transformation). Such analyses have led researchers to conclude that budgerigar vocalizations are primarily frequency-modulated, harmonic vocalizations. Although budgerigar calls have been shown to contain regions that are modulated in amplitude, the implications of this fact have been largely ignored. Amplitude modulation, the nonlinear interaction between two separate signals that results in the creation of new, heterodyne (sum and difference) frequencies, can produce a very complex Fourier spectrum that may resemble that produced by a harmonic vocalization. In this paper, the acoustic principles necessary for identifying amplitude modulation present in signals are outlined, and followed by data demonstrating that amplitude modulation is a prominent feature not only of natural budgerigar contact calls, but also of their learned English vocalizations. It is illustrated how analyzing a vocalization that contains amplitude modulation as if it were harmonic can result in misinterpretations of the acoustic and physical properties of the sound and sound source. The implications of amplitude modulation for studies of the ontogenetic, physical, and neural basis of budgerigar vocalizations are discussed, and a potential model for how the budgerigar syrinx may function to produce amplitude modulation is proposed.
Acoustic detections of singing humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the eastern North Pacific during their northbound migration106(1999); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.427071View Description Hide Description
Numerous (84) acoustic detections of singing humpback whales were made during a spring (08 March–09 June 1997) research cruise to study sperm whales in the central and eastern North Pacific. Over 15 000 km of track-line was surveyed acoustically using a towed hydrophone array. Additionally, 83 sonobuoys were deployed throughout the study area. Detection rates were greatest in late March, near the Hawaiian Islands, and in early April, northeast of the islands. Only one detection was made after April. Detection rates for sonobuoys were unequal in three equally divided longitudinal regions of the study area. Two high density clusters of detections occurred approximately 1200–2000 km northeast of the Hawaiian Islands and were attributed to a large aggregation of migrating animals. The distribution of these detections corroborates findings of previous studies. It is possible that these animals were maintaining acoustic contact during migration. Two unexpected clusters of singing whales were detected approximately 900 to 1000 km west of central and southern California. The location of these detections may indicate a previously undocumented migration route between an offshore breeding area, such as the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, and possible feeding areas in the western North Pacific or Bering Sea.