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Related to echolocation: Human echolocation


determination of the position of an object by measuring the time taken for an echo to return from it and its direction
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


An animal's use of sound reflections to localize objects and to orient in the environment.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Finally, echolocation calls of Saccopteryx from Gorgona population have a slightly higher frequency compared with their mainland counterparts (Fig.
The previous researches on human echolocation have not offered clear results.
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Geographic variation in the echolocation calls of bats: A complication for identifying species by their calls.
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Just like multiple properties (size, expected weight, texture, composition) of an object assessed by visual cues are encoded in different brain regions, recent research done in the Goodale laboratory shows that the same is true of information obtained through the auditory cues provided by echolocation. Indeed, many of the same regions in the sighted brain that are used for the visual assessment of objects are recruited in the blind brain when objects are explored using echolocation.
Many studies have found that people who are born blind have heightened hearing, and can even navigate using a kind of echolocation. But it isn't clear how exactly this super sensing developed.
The bat algorithm was proposed by Xin-She Yang in 2010, which is inspired by the echolocation behaviour of microbats.
Beginner's Guide to Echolocation for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
There is probably no more sophisticated and amazing animal adaptation than echolocation, and there are few areas where recent technological advancements have so rapidly expanded our ability to accurately interpret nature and excite audiences.
Known as echolocation, using sound to locate objects, or for navigation, is a technique used by animals such as bats and dolphins.