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Hierarchical Organization of Auditory Temporal Context Sensitivity

Lewicki, Michael S. and Arthur, Benjamin J. (1996) Hierarchical Organization of Auditory Temporal Context Sensitivity. Journal of Neuroscience, 16 (21). pp. 6987-6998. ISSN 0270-6474. PMCID PMC6579240. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.16-21-06987.1996.

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Some of the most complex auditory neurons known are contained in the songbird forebrain nucleus HVc. These neurons are highly sensitive to auditory temporal context: they respond strongly to the bird’s own song, but respond weakly or not at all when the sequence of the song syllables is altered. It is not known whether this property arises de novo in HVc or whether it is relayed from the properties of neurons in afferent nuclei. To address this issue, we recorded from neurons in both HVc and its afferent nuclei, collectively called field L. Experimental tests were designed to determine the degree of auditory context sensitivity in field L and HVc. Tests were also performed to compare the responses to individual syllables and syllable combinations to see whether these responses could account for the response seen to the entire song. Our results show a substantial increase in the auditory temporal context sensitivity between field L and HVc. Most field L neurons respond equally well both to normal song and to temporally manipulated versions of the same song. A few field L neurons show sensitivity to local temporal structure, such as the sequence of syllable pairs. In contrast, HVc neurons are highly dependent on the song’s local and global temporal structure. This shows that HVc neurons can integrate auditory context over periods much longer than neurons in field L and suggests that additional mechanisms are required to explain the marked sensitivity of HVc neurons to the temporal structure of the bird’s own song.

Item Type:Article
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Additional Information:© 1996 Society for Neuroscience. Received March 14, 1996; revised July 8, 1996; accepted July 24, 1996. This work was supported by a National Institutes of Health Research Training Grant, a Caltech Engineering Research Center fellowship (M.S.L.), and a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship (B.J.A.). We thank Allison Doupe, Mark Konishi, James Mazer, and Marc Schmidt for valuable comments on this manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NIH Predoctoral FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:hierarchical organization; auditory response properties; neural integration; context sensitivity; order sensitivity; song system; field L; HVc
Issue or Number:21
PubMed Central ID:PMC6579240
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191030-151504195
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Official Citation:Hierarchical Organization of Auditory Temporal Context Sensitivity. Michael S. Lewicki, Benjamin J. Arthur. Journal of Neuroscience 1 November 1996, 16 (21) 6987-6998; DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.16-21-06987.1996
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99566
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Oct 2019 22:28
Last Modified:17 Feb 2022 00:23

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