Psychiatry Experts

Dieter Frans S. Vanderelst

Assistant Professor
Department of Psychiatry
University of Cincinnati
United States of America


The echolocation system of bats is limited in a number of important ways. It has a low update rate, a small "field of view" and a limited temporal resolution. Nevertheless, echolocating bats are able to fly swiftly through vegetation, navigate changing environments, recognise objects and forage on the wing. In spite of intense efforts over the past 50 years, the sensorimotor algorithms underlying bat sonar remain only partly understood. I want to understand how, in spite of the limitations of their sensory system, bats are able to deal with the challenges that result from living in complex and changing environments. In other words, I want to know how bats deal with the limitations of their sonar system. In my research, I use both simulation methods, artificial sonar systems and robots to research the sensorimotor loops underlying bat biosonar. In addition, I believe that by studying bat sonar the performance gap between artificial and biological sonar can be substantially reduced. Besides bats and echolocation, my interests include bio-inspired artificial intelligence and models of cognitive functions both in humans and in animals.

Research Interest

SBBE, Sensory ecology, models of bat echolocation and flight control, robotic and computational models of animal behaviour and perception. Models of human cognition.


  • Vanderelst, D., Holderied, M. W., & Peremans, H. (2015). Sensorimotor Model of Obstacle Avoidance in Echolocating Bats.. PLoS Computational Biology, 11 (10), e1004484.

  • Vanderelst, Dieter (2016). Correction: Social Network Analysis As a Tool for Research Policy.. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 10 (1), e0004410.

  • Vanderelst, D., Steckel, J., Boen, A., Peremans, H., & Holderied, M. W. (2016). Place recognition using batlike sonar.. ELife, 5.

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