Noise reduction of coincidence detector output by the inferior colliculus of the barn owl

G. Björn Christianson, Jose L. Pena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A recurring theme in theoretical work is that integration over populations of similarly tuned neurons can reduce neural noise. However, there are relatively few demonstrations of an explicit noise reduction mechanism in a neural network. Here we demonstrate that the brainstem of the barn owl includes a stage of processing apparently devoted to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in the encoding of the interaural time difference (ITD), one of two primary binaural cues used to compute the position of a sound source in space. In the barn owl, the ITD is processed in a dedicated neural pathway that terminates at the core of the inferior colliculus (ICcc). The actual locus of the computation of the ITD is before ICcc in the nucleus laminaris (NL), and ICcc receives no inputs carrying information that did not originate in NL. Unlike in NL, the rate-ITD functions of ICcc neurons require as little as a single stimulus presentation per ITD to show coherent ITD tuning. ICcc neurons also displayed a greater dynamic range with a maximal difference in ITD response rates approximately double that seen in NL. These results indicate that ICcc neurons perform a computation functionally analogous to averaging across a population of similarly tuned NL neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5948-5954
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume26
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Strigiformes
Inferior Colliculi
Noise
Neurons
Neural Pathways
Signal-To-Noise Ratio
Population
Brain Stem
Cues

Keywords

  • Barn owl
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Interaural time difference
  • Nucleus laminaris
  • Pooling
  • Sound localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Noise reduction of coincidence detector output by the inferior colliculus of the barn owl. / Christianson, G. Björn; Pena, Jose L.

In: Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 26, No. 22, 2006, p. 5948-5954.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{096e565cac47408ca221d33d4e4daea1,
title = "Noise reduction of coincidence detector output by the inferior colliculus of the barn owl",
abstract = "A recurring theme in theoretical work is that integration over populations of similarly tuned neurons can reduce neural noise. However, there are relatively few demonstrations of an explicit noise reduction mechanism in a neural network. Here we demonstrate that the brainstem of the barn owl includes a stage of processing apparently devoted to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in the encoding of the interaural time difference (ITD), one of two primary binaural cues used to compute the position of a sound source in space. In the barn owl, the ITD is processed in a dedicated neural pathway that terminates at the core of the inferior colliculus (ICcc). The actual locus of the computation of the ITD is before ICcc in the nucleus laminaris (NL), and ICcc receives no inputs carrying information that did not originate in NL. Unlike in NL, the rate-ITD functions of ICcc neurons require as little as a single stimulus presentation per ITD to show coherent ITD tuning. ICcc neurons also displayed a greater dynamic range with a maximal difference in ITD response rates approximately double that seen in NL. These results indicate that ICcc neurons perform a computation functionally analogous to averaging across a population of similarly tuned NL neurons.",
keywords = "Barn owl, Inferior colliculus, Interaural time difference, Nucleus laminaris, Pooling, Sound localization",
author = "Christianson, {G. Bj{\"o}rn} and Pena, {Jose L.}",
year = "2006",
doi = "10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0220-06.2006",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "26",
pages = "5948--5954",
journal = "Journal of Neuroscience",
issn = "0270-6474",
publisher = "Society for Neuroscience",
number = "22",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Noise reduction of coincidence detector output by the inferior colliculus of the barn owl

AU - Christianson, G. Björn

AU - Pena, Jose L.

PY - 2006

Y1 - 2006

N2 - A recurring theme in theoretical work is that integration over populations of similarly tuned neurons can reduce neural noise. However, there are relatively few demonstrations of an explicit noise reduction mechanism in a neural network. Here we demonstrate that the brainstem of the barn owl includes a stage of processing apparently devoted to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in the encoding of the interaural time difference (ITD), one of two primary binaural cues used to compute the position of a sound source in space. In the barn owl, the ITD is processed in a dedicated neural pathway that terminates at the core of the inferior colliculus (ICcc). The actual locus of the computation of the ITD is before ICcc in the nucleus laminaris (NL), and ICcc receives no inputs carrying information that did not originate in NL. Unlike in NL, the rate-ITD functions of ICcc neurons require as little as a single stimulus presentation per ITD to show coherent ITD tuning. ICcc neurons also displayed a greater dynamic range with a maximal difference in ITD response rates approximately double that seen in NL. These results indicate that ICcc neurons perform a computation functionally analogous to averaging across a population of similarly tuned NL neurons.

AB - A recurring theme in theoretical work is that integration over populations of similarly tuned neurons can reduce neural noise. However, there are relatively few demonstrations of an explicit noise reduction mechanism in a neural network. Here we demonstrate that the brainstem of the barn owl includes a stage of processing apparently devoted to increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in the encoding of the interaural time difference (ITD), one of two primary binaural cues used to compute the position of a sound source in space. In the barn owl, the ITD is processed in a dedicated neural pathway that terminates at the core of the inferior colliculus (ICcc). The actual locus of the computation of the ITD is before ICcc in the nucleus laminaris (NL), and ICcc receives no inputs carrying information that did not originate in NL. Unlike in NL, the rate-ITD functions of ICcc neurons require as little as a single stimulus presentation per ITD to show coherent ITD tuning. ICcc neurons also displayed a greater dynamic range with a maximal difference in ITD response rates approximately double that seen in NL. These results indicate that ICcc neurons perform a computation functionally analogous to averaging across a population of similarly tuned NL neurons.

KW - Barn owl

KW - Inferior colliculus

KW - Interaural time difference

KW - Nucleus laminaris

KW - Pooling

KW - Sound localization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33745276537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33745276537&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0220-06.2006

DO - 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0220-06.2006

M3 - Article

C2 - 16738236

AN - SCOPUS:33745276537

VL - 26

SP - 5948

EP - 5954

JO - Journal of Neuroscience

JF - Journal of Neuroscience

SN - 0270-6474

IS - 22

ER -