Predicting the temporal responses of non-phase-locking bullfrog auditory units to complex acoustic waveforms

Hear Res. 1999 Apr;130(1-2):155-70. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5955(99)00005-2.


Axons from the basilar papilla of the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) do not phase lock to stimuli within an octave of their best frequencies. Nevertheless, they show consistent temporal patterns of instantaneous spike rate (as reflected in peristimulus time histograms) in response to repeated stimuli in that frequency range. We show that the second-order Wiener kernels for these axons, derived from the cross-correlation of continuous (non-repeating), broad-band noise stimulus with the spike train produced in response to that stimulus, can predict with considerable precision the temporal pattern of instantaneous spike rate in response to a novel, complex acoustic waveform (a repeated, 100-ms segment of noise, band-limited to cover the single octaves above and below best frequency). Furthermore, we show that most of this predictive power is retained when the second-order Wiener kernel is reduced to the highest-ranking pair of singular vectors derived from singular-value decomposition, that the retained pair of vectors corresponds to a single auditory filter followed by an envelope-detection process, and that the auditory filter itself predicts the characteristic frequency (CF) of the axon and the shape of the frequency-threshold tuning curve in the vicinity of CF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Basilar Membrane / physiology*
  • Forecasting
  • Noise
  • Rana catesbeiana / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology