Tuning to natural stimulus dynamics in primary auditory cortex

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

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)264-271
Journal / PublicationCurrent Biology
Volume16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

The amplitude and pitch fluctuations of natural soundscapes often exhibit "1/f spectra" [1, 2], which means that large, abrupt changes in pitch or loudness occur proportionally less frequently in nature than gentle, gradual fluctuations. Furthermore, human listeners reportedly prefer 1/f distributed random melodies to melodies with faster (1/f 0) or slower (1/f 2) dynamics [3]. One might therefore suspect that neurons in the central auditory system may be tuned to 1/f dynamics, particularly given that recent reports provide evidence for tuning to 1/f dynamics in primary visual cortex [4]. To test whether neurons in primary auditory cortex (A1) are tuned to 1/f dynamics, we recorded responses to random tone complexes in which the fundamental frequency and the envelope were determined by statistically independent "1/f γ random walks," with γ set to values between 0.5 and 4. Many A1 neurons showed clear evidence of tuning and responded with higher firing rates to stimuli with γ between 1 and 1.5. Response patterns elicited by 1/f γ stimuli were more reproducible for values of γ close to 1. These findings indicate that auditory cortex is indeed tuned to the 1/f dynamics commonly found in the statistical distributions of natural soundscapes. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.

Citation Format(s)

Tuning to natural stimulus dynamics in primary auditory cortex. / Garcia-Lazaro, J. A.; Ahmed, Bashir; Schnupp, J. W H.

In: Current Biology, Vol. 16, No. 3, 07.02.2006, p. 264-271.

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