echolocation


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to echolocation: Human echolocation

echolocation

determination of the position of an object by measuring the time taken for an echo to return from it and its direction

Echolocation

 

the perception of reflected sound waves, usually high-frequency, by certain animals, which emit them to detect objects in space, such as prey or obstacles, and determine their properties and dimensions. Echolocation is one of the means by which animals orient themselves in space. It is developed in bats and dolphins and has been discovered in shrews, a number of species of seals, and birds, including oilbirds and salanganes.

In dolphins and bats, echolocation is based on the emission of ultrasonic impulses with frequencies of as high as 130–200 kilo-hertz (kHz) and duration of signals usually from 0.2 to 4–5 milliseconds, sometimes more. In birds that live in dark caves, such as oilbirds and salanganes, it is used for orientation in the dark; they emit low-frequency signals of 7–4 kHz. Dolphins and bats use echolocation not only to determine their general orientation, but also to determine the spatial position of an object and its dimensions. In a number of cases echolocation even enables them to recognize the appearance of an object and therefore often serves as an important means of searching out and capturing food.

REFERENCE

Airapet’iants, E. Sh., and A. I. Konstantinov. Ekholokatsiia v prirode, 2nd ed. Leningrad, 1974.

G. N. SIMKIN

echolocation

[′ek·ō·lō‚kā·shən]
(biophysics)
An animal's use of sound reflections to localize objects and to orient in the environment.
References in periodicals archive ?
The developmental time course of echolocation skills and their neural correlates in individuals who are blind and sighted and the characterization of the most important echolocation cues remain fertile avenues for future research.
Taking a lead from bats and dolphins, which used sound to navigate, echolocation is a new area of study for researchers looking to assist the blind and partially sighted.
To learn more about how bats process the information that they gather, Moss and her coworkers set up lab experiments to see how bats use echolocation while doing simple tasks.
Thus, we can determine the critical commonalities for hearing in all mammals--as well as critical differences for specialized hearing like echolocation and for hearing under water instead of in air.
Simmons JA and Stein RA: Acoustic imaging in bat sonar: echolocation signals and the evolution of echolocation.
Researchers from the two Danish universities, rhus University and University of Southern Denmark, have now studied the acoustic properties of the technique behind echolocation in bats and whales in the wild.
Back at Georgetown University, Kanwal analyzed these data and discovered that neurons in the right cerebral cortex responded more strongly to echolocation than to communication sounds or "calls.
Human echolocation as a basic form of perception and action.
The bats use echolocation to navigate within the dark confines of the cave, allowing them to fly around stalagmites and stalactites.
Mashburn pulls out an echolocator, which transforms his high-pitched echolocation squeaks into tones low enough for the human ear to hear.
org/bats is showing a veritable bat-talion of furry nocturnal flying mammals having membranous wings, navigating by echolocation, especially at dusk and dawn.