I studied Biology at the University of Havana and Cognitive Neurosciences at the Cuban Neuroscience Center. In 2010, I joined the Lab from Manfred Kössl in Frankfurt as PhD student, with funding from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). During my studies in Cuba and during my PhD in Frankfurt, I conducted electrophysiology experiments in bats with the goal of understanding the neural specializations that enable echolocation in this fascinating animal group. In 2015 I started to co-lead the AC lab with Manfred Kössl, after obtaining my first DFG grant for studying fronto-temporal network dynamics in the bat brain. In the AC lab, I am in charge of experiments dealing with electrophysiology and bioacoustics in bats, gerbils and humans. My main research goal is to understand the underpinnings of sensory computations in the mammalian brain from an evolutionary, neuroethology-related, perspective.


  • Processing of echolocation information in noisy environments

  • Topography of information representation in the bat auditory midbrain

  • Brain rhythms in the auditory cortex and their relation to spiking activity

  • Responses to natural sound streams in the fronto-temporal network

  • Fronto-temporal oscillations and their relation to vocalization production in bats

  • Fronto-striatal oscillations and their relation to vocalization production and food ingestion in bats

  • Properties of bat distress vocalizations and their similarities/differences to human screams

  • Processing of screams in the human brain

  • Can respiration and olfaction modulate acoustic processing in the bat brain?

  • Cross-modal audio-visual processing in the bat brain


  1. Hechavarría, J. C., Beetz, M. J., García-Rosales, F., & Kössl, M. 2020. Bats distress vocalizations carry fast amplitude modulations that could represent an acoustic correlate of roughnessScientific Reports, 10(1), 1-20

  2. Weineck K., García-Rosales F., and Hechavarría JC. 2019. "Fronto-striatal oscillations predict vocal output in bats. PLOS Biology 18(3): e3000658. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000658

  3. López‐Jury L, Mannel A, García‐Rosales F, & Hechavarria JC. 2019. Modified synaptic dynamics predict neural activity patterns in an auditory field within the frontal cortex. European Journal of Neuroscience.

  4. García-Rosales F, Röhrig D, Weineck K, Röhm M, Lin Y H, Cabral-Calderin Y, Kössl M, Hechavarria JC. 2019. Laminar specificity of oscillatory coherence in the auditory cortex. Brain Structure and Function, 224(8), 2907-2924.

  5. García-Rosales F, Beetz MJ, Cabral-Calderin Y, Kössl M, Hechavarria JC. 2018. Neuronal coding of multiscale temporal features in communication sequences within the bat auditory cortex. Communications Biology. 20; 1:200. doi: 10.1038/s42003-018-0205-5. eCollection 2018.

  6. García-Rosales F, Martin LM, Beetz MJ, Cabral-Calderin Y, Kössl M, Hechavarria JC. Low-Frequency Spike-Field Coherence Is a Fingerprint of Periodicity Coding in the Auditory Cortex. 2018. iScience. 2018 Nov 30;9:47-62. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2018.10.009. 

  7. Martin LM, García-Rosales F, Beetz MJ, Hechavarria JC. 2017. Processing of temporally patterned sounds in the auditory cortex of Seba's short-tailed bat, Carollia perspicillata. European Journal of Neuroscience. 46 (8): 2365-2379.

  8. Hechavarria JC, Beetz JM, Macias S, Kössl M. 2016. Vocal sequences suppress spiking in the bat auditory cortex while evoking concomitant steady-state local field potentials. Scientific reports; 6: 39226.

  9. Hechavarria JC, Kössl M. 2014. Footprints of inhibition in the response of cortical delay-tuned neurons of bats. Journal of Neurophysiology 111:1703-1716.

  10. Hechavarría JC, Macías S, Vater M, Mora EC, Kössl M. 2013. Blurry topography for precise target-distance computations in the auditory cortex of echolocating bats. Nature Communications. 4:2587, doi: 10.1038/ncomms3587.

©2020 by Julio Hechavarria.