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  Neural modelling of the encoding of fast frequency modulation

Tabas, A., & von Kriegstein, K. (2021). Neural modelling of the encoding of fast frequency modulation. PLoS Computational Biology, 17: e1008787. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008787.

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Tabas, Alejandro1, 2, Author
von Kriegstein, Katharina1, 2, Author           
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1Chair of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Faculty of Psychology, TU Dresden, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Max Planck Research Group Neural Mechanisms of Human Communication, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634556              

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 Abstract: Frequency modulation (FM) is a basic constituent of vocalisation in many animals as well as in humans. In human speech, short rising and falling FM-sweeps of around 50 ms duration, called formant transitions, characterise individual speech sounds. There are two representations of FM in the ascending auditory pathway: a spectral representation, holding the instantaneous frequency of the stimuli; and a sweep representation, consisting of neurons that respond selectively to FM direction. To-date computational models use feedforward mechanisms to explain FM encoding. However, from neuroanatomy we know that there are massive feedback projections in the auditory pathway. Here, we found that a classical FM-sweep perceptual effect, the sweep pitch shift, cannot be explained by standard feedforward processing models. We hypothesised that the sweep pitch shift is caused by a predictive feedback mechanism. To test this hypothesis, we developed a novel model of FM encoding incorporating a predictive interaction between the sweep and the spectral representation. The model was designed to encode sweeps of the duration, modulation rate, and modulation shape of formant transitions. It fully accounted for experimental data that we acquired in a perceptual experiment with human participants as well as previously published experimental results. We also designed a new class of stimuli for a second perceptual experiment to further validate the model. Combined, our results indicate that predictive interaction between the frequency encoding and direction encoding neural representations plays an important role in the neural processing of FM. In the brain, this mechanism is likely to occur at early stages of the processing hierarchy.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2021-03-03
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
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 Rev. Type: -
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1008787
Other: eCollection 2021
PMID: 33657098
PMC: PMC7959405
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Title: PLoS Computational Biology
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: San Francisco, CA : Public Library of Science
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 17 Sequence Number: e1008787 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1553-734X
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1000000000017180_1