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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1991 Aug;1(2):236-47.

Auditory cortex: comparative aspects of maps and plasticity.

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Zoological Institute, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany.


Much recent work in the field of auditory cortex analysis consists of an intensified search for complex sound representation and sound localization mechanisms using tonotopic maps as a frame of reference. Mammalian species rely on parallel processing in multiple tonotopic and non-tonotopic maps but show different degrees of unit complexity, and orderly representation of acoustic dimensions in such maps depending on the predictability of sounds in their environment. Birds appear to rely chiefly on one tonotopic map which harbours multidimensional complex representations. During development and after partial hearing loss, tonotopic organization changes in a predictable manner. Learning also modifies the spatial representation of sounds and even modifies tonotopic organization, but the spatial rules involved in this process have not yet emerged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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