Science Daily: Bat calls contain redundant information

UC biologists found that bats are great at small talk while navigating

Science Daily highlighted research on bat echolocation by University of Cincinnati assistant professor Dieter Vanderelst.

Vanderelst and his research partners studied the echoes of Mexican free-tailed bats. They found that echoes received by bats are so simple that a sound file of their calls can be compressed 90% without losing much information. The study was published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.

The study demonstrates how bats have evolved to rely on redundancy in their navigational “language” to help them stay oriented in their complex three-dimensional world.

“If you can make decisions with little information, everything becomes simpler. That’s nice because you don’t need a lot of complex neural machinery to process and store that information,” said Vanderelst, who holds joint appointments in UC's College of Arts and Sciences and UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Read the Science Daily story.

An illustration of a bat with sound waves floating above it.

UC researchers found that a neural network could glean important information from the echoes of bats even when the calls were digitally compressed by 90%. Illustration/Margaret Weiner/UC Creative + Brand

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