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Cross-Correlation in the Auditory Coincidence Detectors of Owls

Fischer, Brian J. and Christianson, G. Björn and Peña, José Luis (2008) Cross-Correlation in the Auditory Coincidence Detectors of Owls. Journal of Neuroscience, 28 (32). pp. 8107-8115. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC2637928. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1969-08.2008.

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Interaural time difference (ITD) plays a central role in many auditory functions, most importantly in sound localization. The classic model for how ITD is computed was put forth by Jeffress (1948). One of the predictions of the Jeffress model is that the neurons that compute ITD should behave as cross-correlators. Whereas cross-correlation-like properties of the ITD-computing neurons have been reported, attempts to show that the shape of the ITD response function is determined by the spectral tuning of the neuron, a core prediction of cross-correlation, have been unsuccessful. Using reverse correlation analysis, we demonstrate in the barn owl that the relationship between the spectral tuning and the ITD response of the ITD-computing neurons is that predicted by cross-correlation. Moreover, we show that a model of coincidence detector responses derived from responses to binaurally uncorrelated noise is consistent with binaural interaction based on cross-correlation. These results are thus consistent with one of the key tenets of the Jeffress model. Our work sets forth both the methodology to answer whether cross-correlation describes coincidence detector responses and a demonstration that in the barn owl, the result is that expected by theory.

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Additional Information:© 2008 Society for Neuroscience. Received Jan. 23, 2008; accepted June 20, 2008. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants DC00134 (M. Konishi) and DC007690 (J.L.P.). We thank M. Konishi for invaluable support and R. Lyon, P. Joris, P. Perona, and O. Schwartz for feedback. B.J.F. and G.B.C. contributed equally to this work.
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Subject Keywords:barn owl; interaural time difference; cross-correlation; coincidence detection; sound localization; nucleus laminaris
Issue or Number:32
PubMed Central ID:PMC2637928
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:FISjns08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:11363
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:07 Aug 2008 21:14
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 21:57

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