Bats are 3-D cartographers

Special cells in the mammal’s brain chart its path as it flies

By Meghan Rosen, 10:52 AM April 18, 2013

Holy flying fruit bats!

Neurons called place cells help Egyptian fruit bats, Rousettus aegyptiacus, navigate three-dimensional spaces, researchers report April 18 in Science.

By implanting electrodes in the bats’ brains and strapping on lightweight wireless recording devices to their heads, researchers measured neural activity as the animals flew up, down and around a room. Individual place cells perked up when bats zoomed through particular spaces, report Michael Yartsev and Nachum Ulan...

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