A Caltech Library Service

Representation of sound localization cues in the auditory thalamus of the barn owl

Proctor, Larry and Konishi, Masakazu (1997) Representation of sound localization cues in the auditory thalamus of the barn owl. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 94 (19). pp. 10421-10425. ISSN 0027-8424. PMCID PMC27804.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Barn owls can localize a sound source using either the map of auditory space contained in the optic tectum or the auditory forebrain. The auditory thalamus, nucleus ovoidalis (N.Ov), is situated between these two auditory areas, and its inactivation precludes the use of the auditory forebrain for sound localization. We examined the sources of inputs to the N.Ov as well as their patterns of termination within the nucleus. We also examined the response of single neurons within the N.Ov to tonal stimuli and sound localization cues. Afferents to the N.Ov originated with a diffuse population of neurons located bilaterally within the lateral shell, core, and medial shell subdivisions of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Additional afferent input originated from the ipsilateral ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus. No afferent input was provided to the N.Ov from the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus or the optic tectum. The N.Ov was tonotopically organized with high frequencies represented dorsally and low frequencies ventrally. Although neurons in the N.Ov responded to localization cues, there was no apparent topographic mapping of these cues within the nucleus, in contrast to the tectal pathway. However, nearly all possible types of binaural response to sound localization cues were represented. These findings suggest that in the thalamotelencephalic auditory pathway, sound localization is subserved by a nontopographic representation of auditory space.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Additional Information:Copyright © 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. Contributed by Masakazu Konishi, July 14, 1997. We thank Dr. James Mazer for critically reading the manuscript and Dr. Ralph Adolphs for kindly providing the CaBP-stained sections. This work was supported by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Grant DC00134 to M.K. 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
Issue or Number:19
PubMed Central ID:PMC27804
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:PROpnas97
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1607
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:07 Feb 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 22:45

Repository Staff Only: item control page