Document Detail

Sensitivity to spectral interaural intensity difference cues in space-specific neurons of the barn owl.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  14669025     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Barn owls use interaural intensity differences to localize sounds in the vertical plane. At a given elevation the magnitude of the interaural intensity difference cue varies with frequency, creating an interaural intensity difference spectrum of cues which is characteristic of that direction. To test whether space-specific cells are sensitive to spectral interaural intensity difference cues, pure-tone interaural intensity difference tuning curves were taken at multiple different frequencies for single neurons in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus. For a given neuron, the interaural intensity differences eliciting the maximum response (the best interaural intensity differences) changed with the frequency of the stimulus by an average maximal difference of 9.4+/-6.2 dB. The resulting spectral patterns of these neurally preferred interaural intensity differences exhibited a high degree of similarity to the acoustic interaural intensity difference spectra characteristic of restricted regions in space. Compared to stimuli whose interaural intensity difference spectra matched the preferred spectra, stimuli with inverted spectra elicited a smaller response, showing that space-specific neurons are sensitive to the shape of the spectrum. The underlying mechanism is an inhibition for frequency-specific interaural intensity differences which differ from the preferred spectral pattern. Collectively, these data show that space-specific neurons are sensitive to spectral interaural intensity difference cues and support the idea that behaving barn owls use such cues to precisely localize sounds.
B J Arthur
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.     Date:  2003-12-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of comparative physiology. A, Neuroethology, sensory, neural, and behavioral physiology     Volume:  190     ISSN:  0340-7594     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Comp. Physiol. A Neuroethol. Sens. Neural. Behav. Physiol.     Publication Date:  2004 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2004-03-01     Completed Date:  2004-04-21     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101141792     Medline TA:  J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  91-104     Citation Subset:  IM    
Computation and Neural Systems Program, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Action Potentials / physiology*
Inferior Colliculi / physiology
Neurons / physiology*
Sound Localization / physiology*
Strigiformes / physiology*
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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