Optimizing sound features for cortical neurons

R. Christopher DeCharms, David Trumbull Blake, Michael M. Merzenich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

327 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The brain's cerebral cortex decomposes visual images into information about oriented edges, direction and velocity information, and color. How does the cortex decompose perceived sounds? A reverse correlation technique demonstrates that neurons in the primary auditory cortex of the awake primate have complex patterns of sound-feature selectivity that indicate sensitivity to stimulus edges in frequency or in time, stimulus transitions in frequency or intensity, and feature conjunctions. This allows the creation of classes of stimuli matched to the processing characteristics of auditory cortical neurons. Stimuli designed for a particular neuron's preferred feature pattern can drive that neuron with higher sustained firing rates than have typically been recorded with simple stimuli. These data suggest that the cortex decomposes an auditory scene into component parts using a feature-processing system reminiscent of that used for the cortical decomposition of visual images.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1439-1443
Number of pages5
JournalScience
Volume280
Issue number5368
DOIs
StatePublished - May 29 1998

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Neurons
Auditory Cortex
Cerebral Cortex
Primates
Color
Brain
Direction compound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Optimizing sound features for cortical neurons. / DeCharms, R. Christopher; Blake, David Trumbull; Merzenich, Michael M.

In: Science, Vol. 280, No. 5368, 29.05.1998, p. 1439-1443.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DeCharms, RC, Blake, DT & Merzenich, MM 1998, 'Optimizing sound features for cortical neurons', Science, vol. 280, no. 5368, pp. 1439-1443. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.280.5368.1439
DeCharms, R. Christopher ; Blake, David Trumbull ; Merzenich, Michael M. / Optimizing sound features for cortical neurons. In: Science. 1998 ; Vol. 280, No. 5368. pp. 1439-1443.
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