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PloS one

Spectral and Temporal Acoustic Features Modulate Response Irregularities within Primary Auditory Cortex Columns.


PMID 25494365

Abstract

Assemblies of vertically connected neurons in the cerebral cortex form information processing units (columns) that participate in the distribution and segregation of sensory signals. Despite well-accepted models of columnar architecture, functional mechanisms of inter-laminar communication remain poorly understood. Hence, the purpose of the present investigation was to examine the effects of sensory information features on columnar response properties. Using acute recording techniques, extracellular response activity was collected from the right hemisphere of eight mature cats (felis catus). Recordings were conducted with multichannel electrodes that permitted the simultaneous acquisition of neuronal activity within primary auditory cortex columns. Neuronal responses to simple (pure tones), complex (noise burst and frequency modulated sweeps), and ecologically relevant (con-specific vocalizations) acoustic signals were measured. Collectively, the present investigation demonstrates that despite consistencies in neuronal tuning (characteristic frequency), irregularities in discharge activity between neurons of individual A1 columns increase as a function of spectral (signal complexity) and temporal (duration) acoustic variations.

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