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Brain Behav Evol. 2002;59(5-6):294-311.

Evolutionary convergence and shared computational principles in the auditory system.

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Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


Precise temporal coding is a hallmark of the auditory system. Selective pressures to improve accuracy or encode more rapid changes have produced a suite of convergent physiological and morphological features that contribute to temporal coding. Comparative studies of temporal coding also point to shared computational strategies, and suggest how selection acts to improve coding. Both the avian cochlear nucleus angularis and the mammalian cochlear nuclei have heterogeneous cell populations, and similar responses to sound. These shared characteristics may represent convergent responses to similar selective pressures to encode features of airborne sound.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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