Michael Smotherman Lab2018-08-28T11:29:26+00:00

Acoustic Communication in Mammals

Our lab investigates the neurophysiology, behavior and ecology of mammalian vocal communication.  We focus on bats because they exploit a broad repertoire of communication calls and songs and display fine control of their voice parameters for echolocation.  Echolocation is an exceptional example of fast and precise sensorimotor control and provides an exciting model system for exploring how multiple brain pathways interact to control behavior on a millisecond time scale. Singing by bats offers exiting new opportunities to explore how mammals and birds converged upon a similar behavior via different neural mechanisms. Students in the lab use a combination of fieldwork and behavioral experiments to study bat vocal behaviors and then apply novel molecular and neurophysiological tools to explore how the bats brain is specialized to accommodate these behaviors.

logo with image of colorful bat