Navigation Links
CSHL scientists make progress in determining how the brain selectively interprets sound
Date:1/29/2008

Cold Spring Harbor, NY Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have reported new findings about how the mammalian brain interprets and fashions representations of sound that may help explain how we are able to focus on one particular sound among many in noisy environments such as offices or cocktail parties.

Neurons in the brains auditory cortex interpret incoming sound signals and send them to the rest of the nervous system, in the brain and spinal cord. Using rats, the CSHL team discovered that a very small minority of available auditory neurons react strongly when exposed to any specific sound.

This finding challenges the standard model of sound representations in the auditory cortex, which predicts that neural representations of stimuli often engage a large fraction of neurons, said Anthony Zador, Ph.D., CSHL professor and corresponding author of a research paper published today in the journal Public Library of Science: Biology.

The researchers used a new technique called in vivo cell-attached patch clamp recording which measures the reaction of individual neurons. This recording technique samples neurons in a fair and unbiased way, unlike traditional approaches, which favored the largest and most active neurons. Using this technique, the team found that only 5% of neurons in the auditory cortex had a high firing rate when receiving a range of sounds of varying length, frequency, and volume. The experiment included white noise and natural animal sounds.

The teams objective was to quantify the relative contributions of different sub-populations of neurons in response to the range of sounds. Most of what is known about the auditory cortex of the mammalian brain comes from studies of the anesthetized cortex. The results of the experiments reported today are important partly because they measure the response of neurons in rats that were not anesthetized. In animals that are awake, its possible to measure the response over an interval of time to one sound among many that are co-occurring.

This is the approach the Zador lab has taken to explain selective attention, or what Dr. Zador calls the cocktail party problem. Half of the neurons measured in the reported experiments showed no reaction at all to incoming stimuli. The researchers hypothesize that each neuron in the auditory cortex may have an optimal stimulus to which it is particularly sensitized.

Your entire sensory apparatus is there to make successful representations of the outside world, said Dr. Zador, who is director of the CSHL Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience. Sparse representations may make sensory stimuli easier to recognize and remember. Recognizing the brains ability to distinguish optimal stimuli could help scientists find ways to improve how sounds are learned. Prior research has already yielded similar results when measuring sight, movement, and smell. This is the first evidence of a correlation between sparse representations and hearing.

The goal of sensory processing is to take a signal, like a sound or a vision, from your environment and use it to drive behavior, said Dr. Zador. The brain needs to recognize and learn about these inputs in order to survive.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jim Bono
bono@cshl.edu
516-367-8455
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New prion protein discovered by Canadian scientists may offer insight into mad cow disease
2. Scientists Probe Sepsis Deadly Secrets
3. Scientists puzzled by severe allergic reaction to cancer drug in the middle Southern US
4. Scientists Develop Natural Protection for Stored Foods
5. Scientists detect presence of marburg virus in african fruit bats
6. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
7. Scientists ID Likely Culprit in Popcorn Lung
8. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
9. Scripps Research scientists shed new light on how antibodies fight HIV
10. Scientists, physicians present latest findings in personalized cancer treatment and prevention
11. Scientists demonstate link between genetic variant and effectiveness of smoking cessation meds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... January 17, 2017 , ... Kevin Harrington (one of the original Sharks from ... campaigns regarding the topic of Beauty and Personal Care. , Everyone ... better way to commit to these changes than beginning with personal care and beauty ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 , ... ... a new 21st century approach to infusing high speed technology into the fabric ... exclusively dedicated to the advancement of healthcare and wellness in a yet-to-be-named, health ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... , ... Mirror Mirror Beauty Boutique, Houston’s premiere CoolSculpting provider , is ... Crystal Rewards Program. Practice founder, Paul Vitenas, MD FACS, is delighted that Mirror Mirror ... Produced by Zeltiq, CoolSculpting is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... Metairie, Louisiana (PRWEB) , ... January 17, 2017 ... ... JenCare Senior Medical Center joined the Peoples Health network on Dec. 1, ... Medicare beneficiaries. , “JenCare Senior Medical Center is an exciting addition to our ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... ... ... A prescription medication bottle, pocket knife, luggage and a solar-powered aluminum casting ... Challenge , the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute has announced. , ... run through early 2018. The challenges are presented by the Institute in partnership with ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/17/2017)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) today announced ... Phase 3 clinical trial comparing the efficacy and safety ... prevention of hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) in adult and ... are at high risk or at very high risk ... conducted across approximately 100 medical centers in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... 17, 2017  Market Research Future published a Half Cooked Research ... expected to reach USD 33.6 million during the period 2016 to ... ... Devices Market has been examined as a swiftly growing market and ... demand for endoscopy device in various regions.  The increasing growth in ...
(Date:1/17/2017)... , Jan. 17, 2017 Following ... (SCPC) today praised the Food and Drug Administration,s ... Certain Human Drug Products by Pharmacies and Outsourcing ... a proposed limitation on pre-packaging -- which would ... compliance costs to long term care (LTC) pharmacies.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: