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J Comp Physiol A. 1997 Apr;180(4):301-11.

Encoding of sound duration by neurons in the auditory cortex of the little brown bat, Myotis lucifugus.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Beckman Institute 61801, USA.


Responses of 117 single- or multi-units in the auditory cortex (AC) of bats (Myotis lucifugus) to tone bursts of different stimulus durations (1-400 ms) were studied over a wide range of stimulus intensities to determine how stimulus duration is represented in the AC. 36% of AC neurons responded more strongly to short stimulus durations showing short-pass duration response functions, 31% responded equally to all pulse durations (i.e., all-pass), 18% responded preferentially to stimuli having longer durations (i.e., long-pass), and 15% responded to a narrow range of stimulus durations (i.e., band-pass). Neurons showing long-pass and short-pass duration response functions were narrowly distributed within two horizontal slabs of the cortex, over the rostrocaudal extent of the AC. The effects of stimulus level on duration selectivity were evaluated for 17 AC neurons. For 65% of these units, an increase in stimulus intensity resulted in a progressive decrease in the best duration. In light of the unusual intensity-dependent duration responses of AC neurons, we hypothesized that the response selectivities of AC neurons is different from that in the brainstem. This hypothesis was validated by results of study of the duration response characteristics of single neurons in the inferior colliculus.

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