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Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders$
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Jos J. Eggermont

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719090.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 January 2022

Stimulus onsets and echoes

Stimulus onsets and echoes

(p.23) Chapter 2 Stimulus onsets and echoes
Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders

Jos Eggerrmont

Oxford University Press

Accurate representation of sound onsets is determined by the dynamics of the sound as well as the threshold for sound detection in the auditory system. Fast onset sound of sufficient intensity generally produces the shortest onset latencies and the smallest deviations therein. The threshold for detecting the presence of a sound may include integration of sound energy over a time sufficient to reach the threshold of firing of an auditory neuron. This suggests a different mechanism for neuronal firing for onsets compared to ongoing sounds. An important aspect of this accuracy is the presence of ribbon synapses in the inner hair cells. For certain conditions, the accuracy can be as high in auditory nerve fibers as in auditory cortex. Because of the parallel processing of the output of the auditory nerve by the numerous different cell types in the cochlear nucleus, the accuracy of onset timing can be greatly enhanced over that in the auditory nerve fibers by the convergence of many of these inputs. This is exploited by the sound localization mechanisms in the brainstem. Population representation of the highly synchronous onset activity in auditory neurons results in evoked potentials that can be recorded from the scalp and play an important role in the detection of brain abnormalities in various auditory temporal processing problems. A double onset type of processing is found in echo-locating bats that show tuning in the auditory cortex to echo-delay. This delay represents the distance from the bat to the target, and is represented in a topographic map.

Keywords:   ribbon synapse, energy integration, convergence in cochlear nucleus, large brainstem synapses, evoked compound potentials, echo-delay tuning, bats

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