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J Neurophysiol. 1999 Nov;82(5):2358-71.

Organization of inhibitory frequency receptive fields in cat primary auditory cortex.

Author information

1
Center for Neuroscience and Section of Neurobiology Physiology and Behavior, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.

Abstract

Based on properties of excitatory frequency (spectral) receptive fields (esRFs), previous studies have indicated that cat primary auditory cortex (A1) is composed of functionally distinct dorsal and ventral subdivisions. Dorsal A1 (A1d) has been suggested to be involved in analyzing complex spectral patterns, whereas ventral A1 (A1v) appears better suited for analyzing narrowband sounds. However, these studies were based on single-tone stimuli and did not consider how neuronal responses to tones are modulated when the tones are part of a more complex acoustic environment. In the visual and peripheral auditory systems, stimulus components outside of the esRF can exert strong modulatory effects on responses. We investigated the organization of inhibitory frequency regions outside of the pure-tone esRF in single neurons in cat A1. We found a high incidence of inhibitory response areas (in 95% of sampled neurons) and a wide variety in the structure of inhibitory bands ranging from a single band to more than four distinct inhibitory regions. Unlike the auditory nerve where most fibers possess two surrounding "lateral" suppression bands, only 38% of A1 cells had this simple structure. The word lateral is defined in this sense to be inhibition or suppression that extends beyond the low- and high-frequency borders of the esRF. Regional differences in the distribution of inhibitory RF structure across A1 were evident. In A1d, only 16% of the cells had simple two-banded lateral RF organization, whereas 50% of A1v cells had this organization. This nonhomogeneous topographic distribution of inhibitory properties is consistent with the hypothesis that A1 is composed of at least two functionally distinct subdivisions that may be part of different auditory cortical processing streams.

PMID:
10561411
DOI:
10.1152/jn.1999.82.5.2358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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