a bat flaps its wings.
Researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience mapped the brain regions controlling movements in Egyptian fruit bats. Large regions of motor cortex are dedicated to the tongue, which makes sonar sounds, and coordinated movements of fore- and hindlimbs for flying. (Getty Images)

Bat Brains Organized for Echolocation and Flight

A new study shows how the brains of Egyptian fruit bats are highly specialized for echolocation and flight, with motor areas of the cerebral cortex that are dedicated to sonar production and wing control. The work by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and UC Berkeley was published May 25 in Current Biology.

Professor Leah Krubitzer’s lab at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience studies how evolution produces variation in brain organization across a wide variety of mammals, including opossums, tree shrews, rodents and primates. This comparative neurobiology approach shows how both evolution and development influence brain organization.

“When we can look across species, it becomes a really powerful approach for making extrapolations to the human condition.” — Leah Krubitzer, UC Davis professor in the Department of Psychology and the Center for Neuroscience. 

Read the rest of this article at UC Davis News.

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