From spectrum to space: the integration of frequency-specific intensity cues to produce auditory spatial receptive fields in the barn owl inferior colliculus

Show full item record

Title: From spectrum to space: the integration of frequency-specific intensity cues to produce auditory spatial receptive fields in the barn owl inferior colliculus
Author: Euston, David Raymond, 1964-
Abstract: Neurons in the barn owl's inferior colliculus (IC) derive their spatial receptive fields (RF) from two auditory cues: interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD). ITD serves to restrict a RF in azimuth but the precise role of ILD was, up to this point, unclear. Filtering by the ears and head insures that each spatial location is associated with a unique combination of frequency-specific ILD values (i.e., an ILD spectrum). We isolated the effect of ILD spectra using virtual sound sources in which ITD was held fixed for all spatial locations while ILD spectra were allowed to vary normally. A cell's response to these stimuli reflects the contribution of ILD to spatial tuning, referred to as an “ILD-alone RF”. In a sample of 34 cells, individual ILD-alone RFs were distributed and amorphous, but consistently showed that the ILD spectrum is facilatory at the cell's best location and inhibitory above and/or below. Prior results have suggested that an IC cell's spatial specificity is generated by summing inputs which are narrowly tuned to frequency and selective for both ILD and ITD. Based on this premise, we present a developmental model which, when trained solely on a cell's true spatial RF, reproduces both the cell's true RF and its ILD-alone RF. According to the model, the connectivity between a space-tuned IC cell and its frequency-specific inputs develops subject to two constraints: the cell must be excited by ILD spectra from the cell's best location and inhibited by spectra from locations above and below but along the vertical strip defined by the best ITD. To assess how frequency-specific inputs are integrated to form restricted spatial RFs, we measured the responses of 47 space-tuned IC cells to pure tones at varying ILDs and frequencies. ILD tuning varied with frequency. Further, pure-tone responses, summed according to the head-related filters, accounted for 56 percent of the variance in broadband ILD-alone RFs. Modelling suggests that, with broadband sounds, cells behave as though they are linearly summing their inputs, but when testing with pure tones, non-linearities arise. This dissertation includes unpublished co-authored materials.
Description: Advisers: Terry Takahashi and Richard Marrocco. xiv, 152 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/143
Date: 2000


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
eustond00.pdf 5.943Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record