Munich Neuroscience Calendar


17.05.2021, 17:00 Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience

Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Philip Joris
Institute: KU Leuven

Title: Direction selectivity in hearing: monaural phase sensitivity in octopus neurons

GroƟhaderner Str. 2
82152 Martinsried

Host: Bernhard U. Seeber

The processing of temporal sound features is fundamental to hearing, and the auditory system displays a plethora of specializations, at many levels, to enable such processing. Octopus neurons are the most extreme temporally-specialized cells in the auditory (and perhaps entire) brain, which make them intriguing but also difficult to study. Notwithstanding the scant physiological data, these neurons have been a favorite cell type of modeling studies which have proposed that octopus cells have critical roles in pitch and speech perception. We used a range of in vivo recording and labeling methods to examine the hypothesis that tonotopic ordering of cochlear afferents combines with dendritic delays to compensate for cochlear delay - which would explain the highly entrained responses of octopus cells to sound transients. Unexpectedly, the experiments revealed that these neurons have marked selectivity to the direction of fast frequency glides, which is tied in a surprising way to intrinsic membrane properties and subthreshold events. The data suggest that octopus cells have a role in temporal comparisons across frequency and may play a role in auditory scene analysis.

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