An Auditory Feature Detection Circuit for Sound Pattern Recognition
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Schöneich, S., Kostarakos, K., & Hedwig, B. (2015). An Auditory Feature Detection Circuit for Sound Pattern Recognition. Science Advances, 1 (e1500325)https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500325
From human language to birdsong and the chirps of insects, acoustic communication is based on amplitude and frequency modulation of sound signals. Whereas frequency-processing starts at the level of the hearing organs, temporal features of the sound amplitude like rhythms or pulse rates require processing by central auditory neurons. Besides several theoretical concepts, brain circuits that detect temporal features of a sound signal are poorly understood. Here we focused on acoustically communicating field crickets and show how five neurons in the brain of females form an auditory feature-detector circuit for the pulse pattern of the male calling song. The processing is based on a coincidence detector mechanism that selectively responds when a direct and an intrinsically delayed neural response to the sound pulses coincide. This circuit provides the basis for auditory mate recognition in field crickets and reveals a principal mechanism of sensory processing underlying the perception of temporal patterns.
Financial support for the study was provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/J01835X/1) and the Isaac Newton Trust (Trinity College, Cambridge).
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1500325
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/248527
Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/