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J Acoust Soc Am. 1996 Jun;99(6):3592-605.

Responses of ventral cochlear nucleus units in the chinchilla to amplitude modulation by low-frequency, two-tone complexes.

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Parmly Hearing Institute, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois 60626, USA.


For a tone that is amplitude modulated by two tones (fmod1 and fmod2), neither the stimulus waveform nor the half-wave rectified waveform has spectral energy at the envelope beat frequency (fmod2-fmod1). The response of ventral cochlear nucleus units in the chinchilla were recorded for best frequency tones that were amplitude modulated by low-frequency, two-tone complexes. Fourier analysis of poststimulus time histograms shows spectral peaks at fmod2-fmod1 in addition to the peaks at fmod1 and fmod2. The peaks in the neural spectra arise from compressive nonlinearities in the auditory system. The magnitudes of these spectral peaks are measures of synchrony at each frequency component. For all units, synchrony at fmod1 and fmod2 is greater than the synchrony at fmod2-fmod1. For a given unit, synchrony at fmod1 and fmod2 remains relatively constant as a function of overall level, whereas synchrony at fmod2-fmod1 decreases as the level increases. Synchrony was quantified in terms of the Rayleigh statistic (z), which is a measure of the statistical significance of the phase locking. In terms of z, phase locking at fmod1 and fmod2 is largest in chopper units, whereas onset-chopper units and primarylike units having sloping saturation in their rate-level functions show the smallest amount of phase locking. Phase locking at fmod2-fmod1 is also largest in chopper units, and smallest in onset-chopper units and primarylike units with sloping saturation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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