Scientists from Johns Hopkins University, as well as Columbia University and the University of Maryland, determined how the sense of touch plays a key role in powered flight. In a paper published April 30 in the journal Cell Reports, they show how sensory receptors in bat wings send information about airflow to neurons in the brain, enabling the bat to make split-second flight control adjustments.
"Until now no one had investigated the sensors on the bat's wing, which allow it to serve as more than a propeller, a flipper, an airplane wing or any simple airfoil," said Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Cynthia F. Moss, one of the senior authors and a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "These findings can inform more broadly how organisms use touch to guide movement."
Moss and the team studied the big brown bat, a common species found throughout North America. Bats are the only mammals capable of true powered flight, able to reach speeds of 7 to 20 mph with the sort of aerial maneuverability humans only wish they could engineer.
The team found that the evolutionary process that allowed bats to form wings resulted in unusual tactile circuitry that not only enhances control during flight, but also allows bats to use their wings to climb, cradle their young and capture insects.
First, they discovered an array of sensory receptors in bat wings -- a significant number of which are clustered at the base of tiny hairs that cover the appendages. That placement of these touch cells, both lanceolate endings and Merkel cells, allows the bat, while flying, to sense changes in airflow as air ruffles the hairs.
When the team stimulated these hairs with brief air puffs, neurons in the bat's primary somatosensory cortex responded with precisely timed but sparse bursts of activity, suggesting this circuitry helped guide bats during fast, dynamic flight.
The team also found that the innervation of bat wings -- the distribution in and supply of nerves to the wings -- is unlike that of other mammalian forelimbs, a clue into how wings grew in bats during evolution. The researchers were surprised to discover that neurons in the wing skin connected not only to the higher parts of the spinal cord where forelimbs typically connect, but also to lower parts of the spinal cord that would normally only innervate an animal's trunk.
These findings lay the groundwork for understanding how bats use sensory information to fly with precision in the dark and catch prey midair. The information, researchers say, could eventually help people design air vehicles that better negotiate obstacles by sensing and adjusting to air turbulence.
Welcome to SUV System Ltd!
SUV System Ltd is ISO 90012008 Certified electronics distributor with 10 years of experiences.
We have built up long term business relationship with about many companies which are stockers and authorized agents. we have a steady and reliable supply to meet customer's demands to the greatest extent .Confidently, we are able to lower your cost and support your business with our years of professional service.
SUV System Ltd is Electronic Components Distributor Supplies,Find Quality Electronic Components Supplies Products IC(Integrated Circuits),Connectors,Capacitor,Resistors,Diodes,Transistors,LED at Suvsystem.com. Sourcing Other Energy, Environment, Excess Inventory Products from Manufacturers and Suppliers at Suvsystem.com
SUV System Ltd insists on the managing faith ofsincereness,speciality,foresight, win-win,so we build up stable-relationship customers located all over the world, including the States, Europe, Argentina, UAE, Malaysia, Australia,and India etc
we are focus on the following fields,and hope we can help you.
Low Ohmic Resistors Transistors Freescale NEC Transistors PANASONIC Resistors TI IC Dialight LED MURATA IC Xilinx IC VISHAY IC Ligitek LED Electronic News FAIRCHILD diodes INFLNEON Diodes Chip Fuses About US AD IC Diodes Inc ELPIDA IC ROHM Resistors AVX Resistors Chip Ferrite Beads ST Diodes components Fleld Effect Transistors BB IC Thin Film Resistors Capacitor Diodes MOTOROLA IC TDK IC Kingbrigt LED Civil IC Cypress IC IDT IC Current Sensors Resistors PANASONIC Fairchild Semiconductor Transistors DIODES Transistors ON Diodes ST Transistors