Neural resolution of formant frequencies in the primary auditory cortex of rats

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0134078
Journal / PublicationPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes


Pulse-resonance sounds play an important role in animal communication and auditory object recognition, yet very little is known about the cortical representation of this class of sounds. In this study we shine light on one simple aspect: how well does the firing rate of cortical neurons resolve resonant ("formant") frequencies of vowel-like pulse-resonance sounds. We recorded neural responses in the primary auditory cortex (A1) of anesthetized rats to two-formant pulse-resonance sounds, and estimated their formant resolving power using a statistical kernel smoothing method which takes into account the natural variability of cortical responses. While formant-tuning functions were diverse in structure across different penetrations, most were sensitive to changes in formant frequency, with a frequency resolution comparable to that reported for rat cochlear filters.