Research in the McMaster Bat Lab employs a variety of techniques to examine the relationship between hearing and behaviour. Insects and bats are ideal subjects for addressing questions on the physiology of hearing, animal bioacoustics, and the neural control of acoustically-evoked behaviour because the ecological and evolutionary context of their auditory behaviours are well understood (e.g. mate-calling, predator avoidance, prey detection).
Among mammals, echolocating bats are an exceptionally interesting and useful model system for studying hearing and perception because the significance of biosonar to the natural orienting and hunting behaviour of bats is also well understood. Moreover, the components of the bat’s central auditory system are fundamentally mammalian, hence, auditory processing mechanisms that can be readily discovered in bats are likely to be of general relevance to all mammals.
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