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Encoding of illusory continuity in primary auditory cortex

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Petkov


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When interfering objects occlude a scene, the visual system restores the occluded information. Similarly, when a sound of interest (a "foreground" sound) is interrupted (occluded) by loud noise, the auditory system restores the occluded information. This process, called auditory induction, can be exploited to create a continuity illusion. When a segment of a foreground sound is deleted and loud noise fills the missing portion, listeners incorrectly report hearing the foreground continuing through the noise. Here we reveal the neurophysiological underpinnings of illusory continuity in single-neuron responses from awake macaque monkeys' primary auditory cortex (A1). A1 neurons represented the missing segment of occluded tonal foregrounds by responding to discontinuous foregrounds interrupted by intense noise as if they were responding to the complete foregrounds. By comparison, simulated peripheral responses represented only the noise and not the occluded foreground. The results reveal that many A1 single-neuron responses closely follow the illusory percept.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Petkov CI, O'Connor KN, Sutter ML

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Neuron

Year: 2007

Volume: 54

Issue: 1

Pages: 153-65

ISSN (print): 0896-6273

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4199

Publisher: Cell Press


DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.02.031

Notes: Petkov, Christopher I O'Connor, Kevin N Sutter, Mitchell L DC-02514/DC/United States NIDCD R01 DC002514-11A2/DC/United States NIDCD Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't United States Neuron Neuron. 2007 Apr 5;54(1):153-65.


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