A comparison of neuron response properties in areas A1 and CM of the marmoset monkey auditory cortex: tones and broadband noise

J Neurophysiol. 2005 Jan;93(1):22-34. doi: 10.1152/jn.00248.2004. Epub 2004 Sep 1.


The purpose of this study was to compare response properties of two adjacent areas of the marmoset monkey auditory cortex. Multiunit responses to 50 ms tones and broadband noise bursts (BBN) were recorded in the core area, A1, and the caudomedial belt area, CM, of ketamine-anesthetized animals. Neurons in A1 and CM exhibited robust low-threshold short-latency responses to BBN and tones, whereas neurons in adjoining lateral belt areas were poorly responsive or unresponsive to tones and noise. Except for a population of broadly tuned units in CM, the characteristic frequency (CF) could be determined for all recording sites in A1 and CM. Both areas were tonotopically organized and shared a high CF border. Whereas the tonotopic gradient in A1 was smooth and continuous across the field, the gradient in CM was discontinuous, and the intermediate CF range was underrepresented. For BBN stimuli, rate level functions were largely monotonic in A1 and CM. Response profiles were also similar in both areas. As a population, neurons in CM were distinguished from A1 by significantly shorter response latencies, lower thresholds, and broader tuning bandwidth at higher intensities. The results indicated that, while A1 and CM represent anatomically and physiologically distinct areas, their response profiles under anesthesia overlapped considerably compared with the lateral belt areas. Therefore refinements of current models of the primate auditory cortex may be needed to account for differences in organization among the auditory belt areas.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Action Potentials / radiation effects
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology
  • Auditory Threshold
  • Brain Mapping
  • Callithrix
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Male
  • Neurons / classification*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Noise*
  • Reaction Time / radiation effects