This study examines how temporally patterned stimuli are transformed as they propagate from primary to secondary zones in the thalamo-recipient auditory pallium in zebra finches. Using a new class of synthetic click stimuli, we find a robust mapping from temporal sequences in the primary zone to distinct population vectors in secondary auditory areas. We tested whether songbirds could discriminate synthetic click sequences in an operant setup and found that a robust behavioral discrimination is present for click sequences composed of intervals ranging from 11-40ms, but breaks down for stimuli composed of longer inter-click intervals. This work suggests that the analog of the songbird auditory cortex transforms temporal patterns to sequence-selective population responses or 'spatial codes,' and that these distinct population responses contribute to behavioral discrimination of temporally complex sounds.
- Barbara G Shinn-Cunningham
- Timothy J Gardner
- Timothy J Gardner
- Yoonseob Lim
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (Protocol Number: 11-027) of the Boston University, operating under AALAC registration 000197, OLAW assurance A3316-01 and USDA 14-R-0017. All surgery was performed under isoflurane anesthesia, and every effort was made to minimize suffering.
- Jennifer L Raymond, Stanford University, United States
© 2016, Lim et al.
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