Sensory hairs for flight control

Benjamin Falk

Microscopic hairs on the bat’s wing contribute sensory information to adaptive flight behaviors

The wing hairs are hypothesized to provide the flying bat with sensory information about air currents across the wing membrane

Behavioral studies have shown that wing hair removal results in a decrease in the bat’s flight maneuverability

We continue to examine the roll of wing hairs in guiding bat flight

(Sterbing-D’Angelo et al., 2011)

Object discrimination using echolocation

Bats use echolocation to ensonify targets

We study how bats identify objects in their environment using sonar echoes

Texture discrimination of small objects for a food reward

Video animations from (Falk, Williams, Aytekin, & Moss, 2011)

Discrimination of spherical targets with grooves at different orientations

Presented at ICN 2007: (Falk & Moss, 2007)


Falk, B., Kasnadi, J., Moss, C. F. (2015). Tight coordination of aerial flight maneuvers and sonar call production in insectivorous bats. The Journal of Experimental Biology. 2015 218: 3678-3688; doi: 10.1242/jeb.122283

Falk, B., Jakobsen, L., Surlykke, A., & Moss, C. F. (2014). Bats coordinate sonar and flight behavior as they forage in open and cluttered environments. The Journal of Experimental Biology, 4356-4364. doi:10.1242/jeb.114132

Yovel, Ben Falk, Cynthia F. Moss, Nachum Ulanovsky (2011). Active Control of Acoustic Field-of-View in a Biosonar System PLOS Biology. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001150

Sterbing-D'Angelo, S., Chadha, M., Chiu, C., Falk, B., Xian, W., Barcelo, J., Zook, J. M., Moss, C. F. (2011). Bat wing sensors support flight control. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1018740108

Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Adaptive behavior for texture discrimination by the free-flying big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology. doi:10.1007/s00359-010-0621-6

Yovel, Y., Falk, B., Moss, C. F., & Ulanovsky, N. (2010). Optimal Localization by Pointing Off Axis. Science, 327(5966), 701-704. doi:10.1126/science.1183310


Falk B., Varadarajan D. and Moss C.F. (2012). The role of wing airflow sensors in bat flight control under wind gust conditions. Front. Behav. Neurosci. Conference Abstract: Tenth International Congress of Neuroethology. doi: 10.3389/conf.fnbeh.2012.27.00010 [abstract][pdf]

Falk, B., Yovel, Y., Livingston, S., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Comparison of Sonar Behavior During Landing in Laryngeal and Lingual Echolocating Bats, Eptesicus fuscus and Rousettus aegyptiacus. Presented at the 3rd Symposium on Acoustic Communication by Animals, Cornell University. [pdf]

Falk, B., Jakobsen, L., Varadarajan, D., & Moss, C. F. (2011). Adaptive sonar and flight behavior of the echolocating bat, Eptesicus fuscus. Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, Baltimore, MD. [pdf]

Falk, B., Aytekin, M., & Moss, C. F. (2010). Texture Discrimination by Echolocation in the Big Brown Bat. Presented at the Acoustical Society of America. [abstract] [pdf]

Falk, B., Zook, J. M., Sterbing-D'Angelo, & Moss, C. F. (2008). Wing Surface Tactile Receptors: Electron Microscopy and Flight Behavior. Presented at the North American Society for Bat Research. [pdf]

Zook, J. M., Falk, B., Sterbing-D'Angelo, S. J., & Moss, C. F. (2008). Separate contributions of dorsal and ventral wing-surface tactile receptors to bat flight behavior. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience. [abstract]

Falk, B., & Moss, C. F. (2007). Motion Dependent Object Representation in Eptesicus fuscus. Presented at the International Congress of Neuroethology. [pdf]

Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., Ghose, K., & Moss, C. F. (2005). Texture discrimination by echolocation: acoustics and behavior. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience [pdf]

Falk, B., Williams, T., Aytekin, M., Ghose, K., & Moss, C. F. (2005). Object Discrimination in the Flying Bat, Eptesicus Fuscus. Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology [pdf]


Links to code repositories - published under MIT license unless otherwise noted. SVN repositories being hosted on a raspberry pi.

Animal Record Keeping: A Ruby on Rails program for tracking laboratory animals.

AudioAnalysisChecker: MATLAB GUI for checking over acquired bat audio signals, automatically marking vocalizations and extracting their parameters.

viconLabeler: MATLAB GUI for processing collected trajectory data from theVicon motional capture hardware.

d3: MATLAB GUI for processing calibrated high speed video for 3D - collaboration with Kaushik Ghoseand others in the batlab

sunshine & sunshine24: MATLAB GUI for processing microphone array data - collaboration with Kaushik Ghose

nidaq_matlab_tools - set of scripts & GUIs for acquiring and outputting data from National Instruments hardware using MATLAB's "legacy mode."

Copyright@2017 Batlab, Johns Hopkins University
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