Cochlear and neural delays for coincidence detection in owl's

J. L. Peña, S. Viete, K. Funabiki, K. Saberi, M. Konishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The auditory system uses delay lines and coincidence detection to measure the interaural time difference (ITD). Both axons and the cochlea could provide such delays. The stereausis theory assumes that differences in wave propagation time along the basilar membrane can provide the necessary delays, if the coincidence detectors receive input from fibers innervating different loci on the left and right basilar membranes. If this hypothesis were true, the left and right inputs to coincidence detectors should differ in their frequency tuning. The owl's nucleus laminaris contains coincidence detector neurons that receive input from the left and right cochlear nuclei. Monaural frequency-tuning curves of nucleus laminaris neurons showed small interaural differences. In addition, their preferred ITDs were not correlated with the interaural frequency mismatches. Instead, the preferred ITD of the neuron agrees with that predicted from the distribution of axonal delays. Thus, there is no need to invoke mechanisms other than neural delays to explain the detection of ITDs by the barn owl's laminaris neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9455-9459
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Coincidence detection
  • Delay lines
  • Frequency tuning
  • Nucleus laminaris
  • Owl
  • Sound localization
  • Stereausis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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