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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2014 Feb;24(1):103-10. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2013.09.007. Epub 2013 Oct 5.

Single neuron and population coding of natural sounds in auditory cortex.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology, Institute for Life Sciences and The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel. Electronic address: mizrahi.adi@mail.huji.ac.il.
2
Department of Neurobiology, Institute for Life Sciences and The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel.
3
Department of Neurobiology, Institute for Life Sciences and The Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Brain Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Edmond J. Safra Campus, Givat Ram, Jerusalem 91904, Israel. Electronic address: Israel@cc.huji.ac.il.

Abstract

The auditory system drives behavior using information extracted from sounds. Early in the auditory hierarchy, circuits are highly specialized for detecting basic sound features. However, already at the level of the auditory cortex the functional organization of the circuits and the underlying coding principles become different. Here, we review some recent progress in our understanding of single neuron and population coding in primary auditory cortex, focusing on natural sounds. We discuss possible mechanisms explaining why single neuron responses to simple sounds cannot predict responses to natural stimuli. We describe recent work suggesting that structural features like local subnetworks rather than smoothly mapped tonotopy are essential components of population coding. Finally, we suggest a synthesis of how single neurons and subnetworks may be involved in coding natural sounds.

PMID:
24492086
DOI:
10.1016/j.conb.2013.09.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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