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J Acoust Soc Am. 1990 Sep;88(3):1403-11.

Response timing constraints on the cortical representation of sound time structure.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Abstract

The precision of spike response timing of 94 primary auditory cortex neurons was studied using conventional extracellular recording techniques in barbiturate-anesthetized cats to which tone- and/or noise-burst stimuli were presented using sealed sound delivery systems. Precision of spike timing was indexed using the standard deviation of the first-spike latent period in responses evoked by repeated presentation of tonal stimuli systematically varied in frequency, amplitude, and/or repetition rate. Within a neuron, variability of first-spike timing was usually proportional to the mean first-spike latency, in agreement with previous reports. In cases where there was a systematic relation between the precision of response timing and the mean latency, a linear correlation accounted for up to 90% of the data variance. Across the 94 neurons, standard deviations seen in responses of minimum latency were related to minimal mean latencies, and were typically in the range from 0.15-1.5 ms. The data suggest that responses to transients in the cortex show a precision of spike timing which is only slightly worse than that seen in cochlear-nerve fibers. This, however, is in dramatic contrast to previous evidence on the steady-state temporal response of cortical cells, which is at least an order of magnitude poorer than that seen in auditory-nerve fibers and many cochlear nucleus cells. These observations may be directly relevant to the known consequences of auditory cortex pathology in man.

PMID:
2229675
DOI:
10.1121/1.399718
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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