Document Detail

The responses of single units in the inferior colliculus of the guinea pig to damped and ramped sinusoids.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11520633     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Temporal asymmetry can have a pronounced effect on the perception of a sinusoid. For instance, if a sinusoid is amplitude modulated by a decaying exponential that restarts every 50 ms, (a damped sinusoid) listeners report a two-component percept: a tonal component corresponding to the carrier and a drumming component corresponding to the envelope modulation period. When the amplitude modulation is reversed in time (a ramped sinusoid) the perception changes markedly; the tonal component increases while the drumming component decreases. The long-term Fourier energy spectra are identical for damped and ramped sinusoids with the same exponential half-life. Modelling studies suggest that this perceptual asymmetry must occur central to the peripheral stages of auditory processing (Patterson and Irino, 1998). To test this hypothesis, we have recorded the responses of single units in the inferior colliculus of the anaesthetised guinea pig. We divided single units into three groups: onset, on-sustained and sustained, based on their temporal adaptation properties to suprathreshold tone bursts at the unit's best frequency. The asymmetry observed in the neural responses of single units was quantified in two ways: a simple total spike count measure and a ratio of the tallest bin of the modulation period histogram to the total number of spikes. Responses were more diverse than those observed with similar stimuli in a previous study in the ventral cochlear nucleus (Pressnitzer et al., 2000). The main results were: (1) The shape of the responses of on-sustained units to ramped sinusoids resembled the shape of the responses to damped sinusoids. This is in contrast to the response shapes in the VCN, which were always similar to the stimulating sinusoid. (2) Units classified as onsets often responded only to the damped stimuli. (3) All units display significant asymmetry in discharge rate for at least one of the half-lives tested and 20% showed significant response asymmetry over all of the half-lives tested. (4) A summary population measure of temporal asymmetry based on total spike count reveals the same pattern of results as that obtained psychophysically using the same stimuli (Patterson, 1994a).
V Neuert; D Pressnitzer; R D Patterson; I M Winter
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Hearing research     Volume:  159     ISSN:  0378-5955     ISO Abbreviation:  Hear. Res.     Publication Date:  2001 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-08-24     Completed Date:  2001-12-07     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7900445     Medline TA:  Hear Res     Country:  Netherlands    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  36-52     Citation Subset:  IM    
Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing, The Physiological Laboratory, Cambridge, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Acoustic Stimulation
Auditory Pathways / physiology
Auditory Perception / physiology*
Cochlear Nucleus / physiology
Evoked Potentials, Auditory
Guinea Pigs
Inferior Colliculi / physiology*

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