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Neural map of interaural phase difference in the owl's brainstem

Sullivan, W. E. and Konishi, M. (1986) Neural map of interaural phase difference in the owl's brainstem. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 83 (21). pp. 8400-8404. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC386936.

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Neurons of the barn owl's (Tyto alba) nucleus laminaris, the first site of binaural convergence, respond in a phase-locked fashion to a tone delivered to either ear. It may take longer to elicit phase-locked spikes from one ear than from the other. This disparity in delay differs from neuron to neuron and is independent of tonal frequency. In binaural stimulation, neurons respond best when sound in one ear leads that in the other by an amount equal to their delay disparities but opposite in sign. This condition causes simultaneous arrival of phase-locked spikes from the two sides. Laminaris neurons can thus be described as coincidence detectors. The phase of a tone-induced evoked potential, termed "neurophonic," varies systematically with position in nucleus laminaris. From dorsal to ventral within the nucleus, the phase delay of a contralaterally elicited potential decreases and that of its ipsilateral counter-part increases. Therefore, if the neurophonic delay is due to the delay of phase-locked spikes, an orderly representation of delay disparities is shown. Because they act as coincidence detectors, laminaris neurons should show selectivity for interaural phase difference based on their place in the nucleus. Thus, nucleus laminaris presumably measures and maps interaural phase differences by using the principles of delay lines and coincidence detection.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 1986 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by M. Konishi, July 14, 1986. We thank Drs. E. I. Knudsen and T. Takahashi for critically reading the manuscript. The work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant NS 14617 and a Del E. Webb Postdoctoral Fellowship to W.E.S. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIHNS 14617
Del Webb FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:nucleus laminaris; sound localization; delay line; coincidence detection
Issue or Number:21
PubMed Central ID:PMC386936
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:SULpnas86
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1598
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:01 Feb 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:45

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