Bats aren’t the only animals who use echolocation to navigate their world. Dolphins, shrews, and even humans do, too. A small number of people—mostly those blind from birth—have figured out how to create mental representations of their surroundings by making clicking sounds with their mouths and listening to the reverberations. Now, scientists are starting to hone in on exactly what’s going on, New Scientist reports. Researchers found that the clicks made by three blind individuals range from 2 to 5 kilohertz in frequency, last just 3 milliseconds, and create a 60-degree cone of sound emanating from the mouth, they write this week in PLOS Computational Biology. Understanding the specifics of the clicks could help other people learn how to echolocate and even improve sonar technology, the researchers say.
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