Multiple sounds degrade the frequency representation in monkey inferior colliculus.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

How we distinguish multiple simultaneous stimuli is uncertain, particularly given that such stimuli sometimes recruit largely overlapping populations of neurons. One commonly proposed hypothesis is that the sharpness of tuning curves might change to limit the number of stimuli driving any given neuron when multiple stimuli are present. To test this hypothesis, we recorded the activity of neurons in the inferior colliculus while monkeys made saccades to either one or two simultaneous sounds differing in frequency and spatial location. Although monkeys easily distinguished simultaneous sounds (~90% correct performance), the frequency selectivity of inferior colliculus neurons on dual-sound trials did not improve in any obvious way. Frequency selectivity was degraded on dual-sound trials compared to single-sound trials: neural response functions broadened and frequency accounted for less of the variance in firing rate. These changes in neural firing led a maximum-likelihood decoder to perform worse on dual-sound trials than on single-sound trials. These results fail to support the hypothesis that changes in frequency response functions serve to reduce the overlap in the representation of simultaneous sounds. Instead, these results suggest that alternative possibilities, such as recent evidence of alternations in firing rate between the rates corresponding to each of the two stimuli, offer a more promising approach.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Willett, SM; Groh, JM

Published Date

  • January 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 528 - 548

PubMed ID

  • 34844286

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9267755

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-9568

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0953-816X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/ejn.15545


  • eng