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  Representation of interaural time difference in the central nucleus of the barn owl's inferior colliculus

Wagner, H., Takahashi, T., & Konishi, M. (1987). Representation of interaural time difference in the central nucleus of the barn owl's inferior colliculus. The Journal of Neuroscience, 7(10), 3105-3116. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.07-10-03105.1987.

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Wagner, H1, Author              
Takahashi, T, Author
Konishi, M, Author
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1External Organizations, ou_persistent22              

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 Abstract: This paper investigates the role of the central nucleus of the barn owl's inferior colliculus in determination of the sound-source azimuth. The central nucleus contains many neurons that are sensitive to interaural time difference (ITD), the cue for azimuth in the barn owl. The response of these neurons varies in a cyclic manner with the ITD of a tone or noise burst. Response maxima recur at integer multiples of the period of the stimulating tone, or, if the stimulus is noise, at integer multiples of the period corresponding to the neuron's best frequency. Such neurons can signal, by means of their relative spike rate, the phase difference between the sounds reaching the left and right ears. Since an interaural phase difference corresponds to more than one ITD, these neurons represent ITD ambiguously. We call this phenomenon phase ambiguity. The central nucleus is tonotopically organized and its neurons are narrowly tuned to frequency. Neurons in an array perpendicular to isofrequency laminae form a physiological and anatomical unit; only one ITD, the array-specific ITD, activates all neurons in an array at the same relative level. We, therefore, may say that, in the central nucleus, an ITD is conserved in an array of neurons. Array-specific ITDs are mapped and encompass the entire auditory space of the barn owl. Individual space-specific neurons of the external nucleus, which receive inputs from a wide range of frequency channels (Knudsen and Konishi, 1978), are selective for a unique ITD. Space-specific neurons do not show phase ambiguity when stimulated with noise (Takahashi and Konishi, 1986). Space-specific neurons receive inputs from arrays that are selective for the same ITD. The collective response of the neurons in an array may be the basis for the absence of phase ambiguity in space-specific neurons.

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 Dates: 1987-10
 Publication Status: Published in print
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Title: The Journal of Neuroscience
  Other : The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : J. Neurosci.
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Washington, DC : Society of Neuroscience
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 7 (10) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 3105 - 3116 Identifier: ISSN: 0270-6474
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925502187_1