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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Feb;24(1):82-7. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.08.020. Epub 2013 Sep 20.

Neural maps in insect versus vertebrate auditory systems.

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Cluster of Excellence "Hearing4all", University of Oldenburg, Germany; Auditory Neuroscience Group, Department of Neuroscience, University of Oldenburg, Germany. Electronic address:


The convergent evolution of hearing in insects and vertebrates raises the question about similarity of the central representation of sound in these distant animal groups. Topographic representations of spectral, spatial and temporal cues have been widely described in mammals, but evidence for such maps is scarce in insects. Recent data on insect sound encoding provides evidence for an early integration of sound parameters to form highly-specific representation that predict behavioral output. In mammals, new studies investigating neural representation of perceptual features in behaving animals allow asking similar questions. A comparative approach may help in understanding principles underlying the formation of perceptual categories and behavioral plasticity.

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