Processing of natural sounds : characterization of multipeak spectral tuning in human auditory cortex

M. Moerel, F. de Martino, R. Santoro, K. Ugurbil, R. Goebel, E. Yacoub, E. Formisano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examine the mechanisms by which the human auditory cortex processes the frequency content of natural sounds. Through mathematical modeling of ultra-high field (7 T) functional magnetic resonance imaging responses to natural sounds, we derive frequency-tuning curves of cortical neuronal populations. With a data-driven analysis, we divide the auditory cortex into five spatially distributed clusters, each characterized by a spectral tuning profile. Beyond neuronal populations with simple single-peaked spectral tuning (grouped into two clusters), we observe that similar to 60% of auditory populations are sensitive to multiple frequency bands. Specifically, we observe sensitivity to multiple frequency bands (1) at exactly one octave distance from each other, (2) at multiple harmonically related frequency intervals, and (3) with no apparent relationship to each other. We propose that beyond the well known cortical tonotopic organization, multipeaked spectral tuning amplifies selected combinations of frequency bands. Such selective amplification might serve to detect behaviorally relevant and complex sound features, aid in segregating auditory scenes, and explain prominent perceptual phenomena such as octave invariance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11888-11898
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume33
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2013

Keywords

  • CORTICAL RECEPTIVE-FIELDS
  • HUMAN BRAIN ACTIVITY
  • TONOTOPIC ORGANIZATION
  • MACAQUE MONKEYS
  • COMPLEX SOUNDS
  • NEURONS
  • SENSITIVITY
  • FMRI
  • CAT
  • CONNECTIVITY

Cite this

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title = "Processing of natural sounds : characterization of multipeak spectral tuning in human auditory cortex",
abstract = "We examine the mechanisms by which the human auditory cortex processes the frequency content of natural sounds. Through mathematical modeling of ultra-high field (7 T) functional magnetic resonance imaging responses to natural sounds, we derive frequency-tuning curves of cortical neuronal populations. With a data-driven analysis, we divide the auditory cortex into five spatially distributed clusters, each characterized by a spectral tuning profile. Beyond neuronal populations with simple single-peaked spectral tuning (grouped into two clusters), we observe that similar to 60{\%} of auditory populations are sensitive to multiple frequency bands. Specifically, we observe sensitivity to multiple frequency bands (1) at exactly one octave distance from each other, (2) at multiple harmonically related frequency intervals, and (3) with no apparent relationship to each other. We propose that beyond the well known cortical tonotopic organization, multipeaked spectral tuning amplifies selected combinations of frequency bands. Such selective amplification might serve to detect behaviorally relevant and complex sound features, aid in segregating auditory scenes, and explain prominent perceptual phenomena such as octave invariance.",
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author = "M. Moerel and {de Martino}, F. and R. Santoro and K. Ugurbil and R. Goebel and E. Yacoub and E. Formisano",
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Processing of natural sounds : characterization of multipeak spectral tuning in human auditory cortex. / Moerel, M.; de Martino, F.; Santoro, R.; Ugurbil, K.; Goebel, R.; Yacoub, E.; Formisano, E.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 33, No. 29, 17.07.2013, p. 11888-11898.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Moerel, M.

AU - de Martino, F.

AU - Santoro, R.

AU - Ugurbil, K.

AU - Goebel, R.

AU - Yacoub, E.

AU - Formisano, E.

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AB - We examine the mechanisms by which the human auditory cortex processes the frequency content of natural sounds. Through mathematical modeling of ultra-high field (7 T) functional magnetic resonance imaging responses to natural sounds, we derive frequency-tuning curves of cortical neuronal populations. With a data-driven analysis, we divide the auditory cortex into five spatially distributed clusters, each characterized by a spectral tuning profile. Beyond neuronal populations with simple single-peaked spectral tuning (grouped into two clusters), we observe that similar to 60% of auditory populations are sensitive to multiple frequency bands. Specifically, we observe sensitivity to multiple frequency bands (1) at exactly one octave distance from each other, (2) at multiple harmonically related frequency intervals, and (3) with no apparent relationship to each other. We propose that beyond the well known cortical tonotopic organization, multipeaked spectral tuning amplifies selected combinations of frequency bands. Such selective amplification might serve to detect behaviorally relevant and complex sound features, aid in segregating auditory scenes, and explain prominent perceptual phenomena such as octave invariance.

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