Anatomical and functional imaging of the auditory cortex in awake mustached bats using magnetic resonance technology

Kyousuke Kamada, James J. Pekar, Jagmeet S. Kanwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The auditory cortex of mustached bats, Pteronotus parnellii, has been studied extensively using neuroanatomical tract-tracing and electrophysiological techniques to elucidate the functional organization and neural mechanisms important for auditory processing. While these techniques have identified several cortical maps involved in processing auditory information, there has been no direct observation of the dynamics of simultaneous activation of several discrete areas. We applied magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques for visualizing brain structures in awake bats using a 7-Tesla magnet system; we also investigated functional MR imaging by measuring changes in stimulus-correlated blood oxygenation levels to detect cortical areas exhibiting evoked neural activity. High resolution (100 μm) anatomical images were successfully acquired without any motion artifacts. It was possible to reconstruct the whole brain image and analyze brain surface structures with three dimensional (3D) MR imaging data. These data provide detailed morphometric measurements that will allow localization of stimulus specific neural activity patterns using modified functional magnetic-resonance-imaging (fMRI) protocols. Motion artifacts is the primary disadvantage of using awake bats; our study shows that fMRI of a bat's brain is feasible and may prove to be an important advancement for a further understanding of auditory processing in this species.Themes: Sensory systems, Neural basis of behavior.Topics: Auditory systems: central anatomy, Auditory systems: central physiology, Neuroethology, Neural plasticity. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-359
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research Protocols
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Auditory cortex
  • Communication
  • Echolocation
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Microchiroptera

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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