We report the spectrotemporal response properties of single units in the primary (A1) and dorsocaudal (DC) fields, and the ventrorostral belt of the urethane-anaesthetised guinea pig auditory cortex. Using reverse correlation analysis, spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) were constructed and subsequently classified according to a novel qualitative scheme that was based on the duration and bandwidth of excitatory and inhibitory regions within the STRF. The STRFs of units in both A1 and DC showed either broad-band (> or = 1 octave) or narrow-band (< 1 octave) excitatory and inhibitory regions occurring either alone or together. The excitatory regions were of short duration (lasting for <50 ms) or more sustained (up to about 100 ms) and inhibitory areas either followed excitation or were located as inhibitory sidebands along the high- and low-frequency edges of the excitatory regions. Inhibitory areas that followed excitatory regions were found to be either short lasting (10-20 ms) or longer lasting (up to 200 ms or more). The STRFs recorded from each cortical area indicated temporal response properties consistent with those shown by traditional peristimulus time histogram analysis. Overall, fields A1 and DC showed no significant differences in the distribution of STRF types. Thus, it appears that both fields display similar spectrotemporal sensitivities to auditory stimuli and therefore, appear to process such stimuli in a parallel fashion. Single units recorded in the ventrorostral belt area showed STRF types similar to those recorded in A1 and DC. However, the proportions of STRF types were significantly different, suggesting a difference in spectrotemporal processing between the ventrorostral belt and the core areas.
Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel