1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Neural tuning matches frequency-dependent time differences between the ears

  1. Victor Benichoux
  2. Bertrand Fontaine
  3. Tom P Franken
  4. Shotaro Karino
  5. Philip X Joris
  6. Romain Brette  Is a corresponding author
  1. Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
  2. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, United States
  3. University of Leuven, Belgium
Research Article
  • Cited 11
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e06072 doi: 10.7554/eLife.06072

Abstract

The time it takes a sound to travel from source to ear differs between the ears and creates an interaural delay. It varies systematically with spatial direction and is generally modeled as a pure time delay, independent of frequency. In acoustical recordings, we found that interaural delay varies with frequency at a fine scale. In physiological recordings of midbrain neurons sensitive to interaural delay, we found that preferred delay also varies with sound frequency. Similar observations reported earlier were not incorporated in a functional framework. We find that the frequency dependence of acoustical and physiological interaural delays are matched in key respects. This suggests that binaural neurons are tuned to acoustical features of ecological environments, rather than to fixed interaural delays. Using recordings from the nerve and brainstem we show that this tuning may emerge from neurons detecting coincidences between input fibers that are mistuned in frequency.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Victor Benichoux

    Institut d'Etudes de la Cognition, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Bertrand Fontaine

    Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Tom P Franken

    Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Shotaro Karino

    Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Philip X Joris

    Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Romain Brette

    Institut d'Etudes de la Cognition, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
    For correspondence
    romain.brette@inserm.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures were approved by the institutional Animal Care Committee and were in accordance with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (P155/2008 to PX Joris (2009-2013))

Reviewing Editor

  1. David C Van Essen, Washington University in St Louis, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: December 13, 2014
  2. Accepted: April 25, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 27, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 21, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Benichoux et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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