Analog VLSI Models of Range-Tuned Neurons in the Bat Echolocation System
© Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation 2003
Received: 3 May 2002
Published: 18 June 2003
Bat echolocation is a fascinating topic of research for both neuroscientists and engineers, due to the complex and extremely time-constrained nature of the problem and its potential for application to engineered systems. In the bat's brainstem and midbrain exist neural circuits that are sensitive to the specific difference in time between the outgoing sonar vocalization and the returning echo. While some of the details of the neural mechanisms are known to be species-specific, a basic model of reafference-triggered, postinhibitory rebound timing is reasonably well supported by available data. We have designed low-power, analog VLSI circuits to mimic this mechanism and have demonstrated range-dependent outputs for use in a real-time sonar system. These circuits are being used to implement range-dependent vocalization amplitude, vocalization rate, and closest target isolation.