Opponent Coding of Sound Location (Azimuth) in Planum Temporale is Robust to Sound-Level Variations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Coding of sound location in auditory cortex (AC) is only partially understood. Recent electrophysiological research suggests that neurons in mammalian auditory cortex are characterized by broad spatial tuning and a preference for the contralateral hemifield, that is, a nonuniform sampling of sound azimuth. Additionally, spatial selectivity decreases with increasing sound intensity. To accommodate these findings, it has been proposed that sound location is encoded by the integrated activity of neuronal populations with opposite hemifield tuning ("opponent channel model"). In this study, we investigated the validity of such a model in human AC with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a phase-encoding paradigm employing binaural stimuli recorded individually for each participant. In all subjects, we observed preferential fMRI responses to contralateral azimuth positions. Additionally, in most AC locations, spatial tuning was broad and not level invariant. We derived an opponent channel model of the fMRI responses by subtracting the activity of contralaterally tuned regions in bilateral planum temporale. This resulted in accurate decoding of sound azimuth location, which was unaffected by changes in sound level. Our data thus support opponent channel coding as a neural mechanism for representing acoustic azimuth in human AC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-464
Number of pages15
JournalCerebral Cortex
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Keywords

  • auditory
  • fMRI
  • opponent coding
  • planum temporale
  • sound localization
  • PRIMARY AUDITORY-CORTEX
  • CORTICAL-NEURONS
  • LOCALIZATION BEHAVIOR
  • SUPERIOR COLLICULUS
  • BRAIN ACTIVATION
  • HUMAN LISTENERS
  • VISUAL-CORTEX
  • NEURAL CODE
  • SPACE
  • FMRI

Cite this

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title = "Opponent Coding of Sound Location (Azimuth) in Planum Temporale is Robust to Sound-Level Variations",
abstract = "Coding of sound location in auditory cortex (AC) is only partially understood. Recent electrophysiological research suggests that neurons in mammalian auditory cortex are characterized by broad spatial tuning and a preference for the contralateral hemifield, that is, a nonuniform sampling of sound azimuth. Additionally, spatial selectivity decreases with increasing sound intensity. To accommodate these findings, it has been proposed that sound location is encoded by the integrated activity of neuronal populations with opposite hemifield tuning ({"}opponent channel model{"}). In this study, we investigated the validity of such a model in human AC with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a phase-encoding paradigm employing binaural stimuli recorded individually for each participant. In all subjects, we observed preferential fMRI responses to contralateral azimuth positions. Additionally, in most AC locations, spatial tuning was broad and not level invariant. We derived an opponent channel model of the fMRI responses by subtracting the activity of contralaterally tuned regions in bilateral planum temporale. This resulted in accurate decoding of sound azimuth location, which was unaffected by changes in sound level. Our data thus support opponent channel coding as a neural mechanism for representing acoustic azimuth in human AC.",
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author = "K. Derey and G. Valente and {de Gelder}, B. and E. Formisano",
year = "2016",
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language = "English",
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pages = "450--464",
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Opponent Coding of Sound Location (Azimuth) in Planum Temporale is Robust to Sound-Level Variations. / Derey, K.; Valente, G.; de Gelder, B.; Formisano, E.

In: Cerebral Cortex, Vol. 26, No. 1, 01.2016, p. 450-464.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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N2 - Coding of sound location in auditory cortex (AC) is only partially understood. Recent electrophysiological research suggests that neurons in mammalian auditory cortex are characterized by broad spatial tuning and a preference for the contralateral hemifield, that is, a nonuniform sampling of sound azimuth. Additionally, spatial selectivity decreases with increasing sound intensity. To accommodate these findings, it has been proposed that sound location is encoded by the integrated activity of neuronal populations with opposite hemifield tuning ("opponent channel model"). In this study, we investigated the validity of such a model in human AC with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a phase-encoding paradigm employing binaural stimuli recorded individually for each participant. In all subjects, we observed preferential fMRI responses to contralateral azimuth positions. Additionally, in most AC locations, spatial tuning was broad and not level invariant. We derived an opponent channel model of the fMRI responses by subtracting the activity of contralaterally tuned regions in bilateral planum temporale. This resulted in accurate decoding of sound azimuth location, which was unaffected by changes in sound level. Our data thus support opponent channel coding as a neural mechanism for representing acoustic azimuth in human AC.

AB - Coding of sound location in auditory cortex (AC) is only partially understood. Recent electrophysiological research suggests that neurons in mammalian auditory cortex are characterized by broad spatial tuning and a preference for the contralateral hemifield, that is, a nonuniform sampling of sound azimuth. Additionally, spatial selectivity decreases with increasing sound intensity. To accommodate these findings, it has been proposed that sound location is encoded by the integrated activity of neuronal populations with opposite hemifield tuning ("opponent channel model"). In this study, we investigated the validity of such a model in human AC with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a phase-encoding paradigm employing binaural stimuli recorded individually for each participant. In all subjects, we observed preferential fMRI responses to contralateral azimuth positions. Additionally, in most AC locations, spatial tuning was broad and not level invariant. We derived an opponent channel model of the fMRI responses by subtracting the activity of contralaterally tuned regions in bilateral planum temporale. This resulted in accurate decoding of sound azimuth location, which was unaffected by changes in sound level. Our data thus support opponent channel coding as a neural mechanism for representing acoustic azimuth in human AC.

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