Quantitative data for Doppler-shift compensation by Pteronotus parnellii parnellii were obtained with a device which propelled the bats at constant velocities over a distance of 12 m. The bats compensated for Doppler shifts at all velocities tested (0.1-5.0 ms-1). The main findings were (1) that compensation was usually accomplished by a progressive lowering of the approximately 61 kHz second harmonic constant-frequency component of emitted sounds in small frequency steps (93 +/- 72 Hz); (2) that the time needed to reach a steady compensation level averaged 514 +/- 230 ms and the number of pulses required to reach full compensation averaged 10.78 +/- 5.16; (3) that the animals compensated to hold the echo (reference) frequency at a value that was slightly higher than the resting frequency and slightly lower than the cochlear resonance frequency; (4) that reference frequency varied as a function of velocity, the higher the velocity of the animal, the higher was the reference frequency (slope 55 Hz m-1s-2); and (5) that the mean reference frequency was always an undercompensation. The average amount of undercompensation was 15.8%. There was a significant difference (P < or = 0.005) in Doppler-shift compensation data collected at velocities that differed by 0.1 ms-1. A velocity difference of 0.1 ms-1 corresponds to a Doppler-shift difference of about 35 Hz in the approximately 61 kHz signals reaching the ear.
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