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Organizing principles of spectro-temporal encoding in the avian primary auditory area field L.


ABSTRACT: The organization of postthalamic auditory areas remains unclear in many respects. Using a stimulus based on properties of natural sounds, we mapped spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) of neurons in the primary auditory area field L of unanesthetized zebra finches. Cells were sensitive to only a subset of possible acoustic features: nearly all neurons were narrowly tuned along the spectral dimension, the temporal dimension, or both; broadly tuned and strongly orientation-sensitive cells were rare. At high stimulus intensities, neurons were sensitive to differences in sound energy along their preferred dimension, while at lower intensities, neurons behaved more like simple detectors. Finally, we found a systematic relationship between neurons' STRFs, their electrophysiological properties, and their location in field L input or output layers. These data suggest that spectral and temporal processing are segregated within field L, and provide a unifying account of how field L response properties depend on stimulus intensity.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC2547416 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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