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Hear Res. 2006 Jan;211(1-2):54-62. Epub 2005 Nov 11.

Evaluation of two computational models of amplitude modulation coding in the inferior colliculus.

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Laboratoire Traitement du Signal et de l'Image, INSERM U642, Université de Rennes 1, 35042 Rennes, France.


Two computational models replicating amplitude-modulation encoding in the inferior colliculus (IC) are presented and compared. Neurons in this nucleus are modeled as point neurons using Mc Gregor equations, and receive depolarizing currents from action potentials delivered by stellate cells (chopper units) in the cochlear nucleus (CN). Stellate cells are modeled using modified Hodgkin-Huxley equations and receive inputs from a peripheral auditory model. The CN models of the two proposed architectures are characterized by an important dispersion of cellular characteristics, and therefore by various cellular best modulation frequencies (BMFs) ranging from 60 to 300 Hz. In contrast with the previous model proposed by [M.J. Hewitt, R. Meddis, A computer model of amplitude-modulation sensitivity of single units in the inferior colliculus, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95 (1994) 2145], each IC cell model receives convergent input from stellate cells with various BMFs. This approach assumes therefore minimal constraints on the model architecture and cell characteristics. The two models differ in terms of the neuronal structure of the IC, composed of 1 or 2 layers of point neurons acting as coincidence detectors. Each model is evaluated using two metrics: mean firing rate and modulation gain. Rate and temporal modulation transfer functions (r-MTFs and t-MTFs, respectively) are simulated and compared with physiological data. Simulations reveal that (i) an important dispersion of BMFs in the CN cells providing input to IC cells yields plausible IC cells responses to AM stimuli, (ii) the 2-layer IC structure yields the best approximation of IC responses measured in vivo.

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