Auditory communication processing in bats: What we know and where to go.

Bats are the second largest mammalian order, with over 1,300 species. These animals show diverse behaviors, diets, and habitats. Most bats produce ultrasonic vocalizations and perceive their environment by processing information carried by returning echoes of their calls. Echolocation is achieved through a sophisticated audio-vocal system that allows bats to emit and detect frequencies that can range from ten to hundreds of kilohertz. In addition, most bat species are gregarious, and produce social communication calls that vary in complexity, form, and function across species. In this article, we (a) highlight the value of bats as model species for research on social communication, (b) review behavioral and neurophysiological studies of bat acoustic communication signal production and processing, and (c) discuss important directions for future research in this field. We propose that comparative studies of bat acoustic communication can provide new insights into sound processing and vocal learning across the animal kingdom. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)