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Processing of dynamic spectral properties of sounds

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Adrian ReesORCiD


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Dynamic changes in frequency, whether as modulations of single tones or sets of harmonics, are important information-bearing elements of natural sounds, and distinguishing attributes in the vocal repertoires of many species. In this chapter we review the ways in which neurons at different levels of the auditory pathway respond to frequency modulations (FMs). We emphasize how responses to FM are elaborated at successive levels of the auditory pathway, and attempt to identify trends in the ways that dynamic changes in frequency are represented. Specificity for parameters like the direction of frequency change is apparent at all levels above the auditory nerve (AN). However, at more central locations there is evidence for great specificity of response, topographic mapping of FM parameters, and differences in response properties between cortical subdivisions. Nevertheless, many questions remain; there is considerable variation between datasets, and it is striking that many neurons respond best to rates of frequency change that are unlikely to occur in natural sounds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rees A, Malmierca MS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Review of Neurobiology: Auditory Spectral Processing

Year: 2005

Volume: 70

Pages: 299-330

ISSN (print): 0074-7742

ISSN (electronic): 0091-5432


DOI: 10.1016/S0074-7742(05)70009-X