Bat Brains

Category archives for Bat Brains

Not everyone gets their research written about by this week’s Nobel Prize winners: All mammals face the challenge of navigating in complex, three-dimensional (3D) environments, whether they are swinging from branch-to-branch in forests or burrowing underground tunnels. How does the brain maintain a sense of place and direction in 3D? In a beautiful study published…

When we navigate through our environment, do we track mostly in two dimensions or in three? Clearly, we can move in all three dimensions, but does our internal map relate to the vertical direction in the same way as it does to the horizontal axes on the ground? That question has not yet been definitively…

This week’s new Weizmann science stories are on ants and bats. Two different models for investigating human behavior? Yes, but not exactly in the ways you might imagine, and so much more than that. Dr. Ofer Feinerman, the “ant scientist,” is a new member of the Physics Faculty. In his graduate research under Prof. Elisha…

Bat Maps

Dr. Nachum Ulanovsky of the Weizmann Institute and Prof. Ran Nathan and Asaf Tsoar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have captured live fruit bats and glued tiny GPS transmitters to their backs, then driven the bats overnight to a site some 80 kilometers away and rappelled into the bats’ caves to retrieve the transmitters…

Bats may be using an innate understanding of physics to track their prey in the dark. Institute neurobiologists trained Egyptian fruit bats to fly to food in a dark lab. They found that in some situations the bats sweep their sonar to either side, catching their “prey” on the beam’s slope, while at other times…