Stephen (Gareth) Hörpel


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  • Hörpel, S. G., & Firzlaff, U. (2020). Post-natal development of the envelope following response to amplitude modulated sounds in the bat Phyllostomus discolor. Hearing Research, 388: 107904. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2020.107904.


    Bats use a large repertoire of calls for social communication, which are often characterized by temporal amplitude and frequency modulations. As bats are considered to be among the few mammalian species capable of vocal learning, the perception of temporal sound modulations should be crucial for juvenile bats to develop social communication abilities. However, the post-natal development of auditory processing of temporal modulations has not been investigated in bats, so far. Here we use the minimally invasive technique of recording auditory brainstem responses to measure the envelope following response (EFR) to sinusoidally amplitude modulated noise (range of modulation frequencies: 11–130 Hz) in three juveniles (p8-p72) of the bat, Phyllostomus discolor. In two out of three animals, we show that although amplitude modulation processing is basically developed at p8, EFRs maturated further over a period of about two weeks until p33. Maturation of the EFR generally took longer for higher modulation frequencies (87–130 Hz) than for lower modulation frequencies (11–58 Hz).
  • Mengede, J., Devanna, P., Hörpel, S. G., Firzla, U., & Vernes, S. C. (2020). Studying the genetic bases of vocal learning in bats. In A. Ravignani, C. Barbieri, M. Flaherty, Y. Jadoul, E. Lattenkamp, H. Little, M. Martins, K. Mudd, & T. Verhoef (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference (Evolang13) (pp. 280-282). Nijmegen: The Evolution of Language Conferences.

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