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J Acoust Soc Am. 1999 Jul;106(1):479-90.

Cortical representation of spatiotemporal pattern of firing evoked by echolocation signals: population encoding of target features in real time.

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Department of Computer Science, Indiana University, Indianapolis 46202, USA.


Target perception in echolocating bats entails the generation of an acoustic image of the target in the auditory cortex. By integrating information conveyed in the sequence of acoustic echoes, the population of cortical neurons in hypothesized to encode different target features based on its spatiotemporal pattern of neural-spike firing during the course of echolocation. A biologically plausible approach to the cortical representation of target features is employed by using electrophysiological data recorded from the auditory cortex of the FM bat, Myotis lucifugus. A single-neuron model of delay-sensitive neurons is first approximated by the formulation of a Gaussian function with different variables to represent the delay-tuning properties of individual cortical neurons. A cortical region consisting of delay-sensitive neurons organized topographically according to best frequency (i.e., tontopically organized) is then modeled with multiple layers of the single-neuron model. A mechanism is developed to represent and encode the responses of these neurons based on time-dependent, incoming echo signals. The time-varying responses of the population of neurons are mapped spatially on the auditory-cortical surface as a cortical response map (CORMAP). The model is tested using phantom targets with single and multiple glints. These simulation results provide further validation of the current auditory framework as a biomimetic mechanism for capturing time-varying, acoustic stimuli impinging in the bat's ears, and the neural representation of acoustic stimulus features by saptiotemporal-firing patterns in the cortical population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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