Neural circuits underlying adaptation and learning in the perception of auditory space.
Bottom Line: Sound localization mechanisms are particularly plastic during development, when the monaural and binaural acoustic cues that form the basis for spatial hearing change in value as the body grows.Recent studies have shown that the mature brain retains a surprising capacity to relearn to localize sound in the presence of substantially altered auditory spatial cues.Through a combination of recording studies and methods for selectively manipulating the activity of specific neuronal populations, progress is now being made in identifying the cortical and subcortical circuits in the brain that are responsible for the dynamic coding of auditory spatial information.
Affiliation: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Sherrington Building, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, UK. email@example.comShow MeSH
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Mentions: Recent evidence provides some insight into how the processing of auditory space is affected by spatial input statistics (Fig. 1). By presenting human listeners over headphones with broadband noise sequences whose ILDs fluctuated rapidly according to a Gaussian distribution, and altering the mean or variance of that distribution (Fig. 1A), Dahmen et al. (2010) showed that the perception of auditory space strongly depends on the statistics of the sensory context. When the mean of the ILD distribution was changed, the perceived laterality of a subsequent stimulus was shifted away from the mean (Fig. 1B). Manipulating the variance of the stimulus distribution also affected perception, such that spatial sensitivity improved as the variance was decreased and declined when the variance was increased (Fig. 1C).
Affiliation: Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Sherrington Building, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, UK. firstname.lastname@example.org