Processing of band-passed noise in the lateral auditory belt cortex of the rhesus monkey

J Neurophysiol. 2004 Jun;91(6):2578-89. doi: 10.1152/jn.00834.2003.


Neurons in the lateral belt areas of rhesus monkey auditory cortex were stimulated with band-passed noise (BPN) bursts of different bandwidths and center frequencies. Most neurons responded much more vigorously to these sounds than to tone bursts of a single frequency, and it thus became possible to elicit a clear response in 85% of lateral belt neurons. Tuning to center frequency and bandwidth of the BPN bursts was analyzed. Best center frequency varied along the rostrocaudal direction, with 2 reversals defining borders between areas. We confirmed the existence of 2 belt areas (AL and ML) that were laterally adjacent to the core areas (R and A1, respectively) and a third area (CL) adjacent to area CM on the supratemporal plane (STP). All 3 lateral belt areas were cochleotopically organized with their frequency gradients collinear to those of the adjacent STP areas. Although A1 neurons responded best to pure tones and their responses decreased with increasing bandwidth, 63% of the lateral belt neurons were tuned to bandwidths between 1/3 and 2 octaves and showed either one or multiple peaks. The results are compared with previous data from visual cortex and are discussed in the context of spectral integration, whereby the lateral belt forms a relatively early stage of processing in the cortical hierarchy, giving rise to parallel streams for the identification of auditory objects and their localization in space.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods*
  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / physiology*