Perceptual organization of tone sequences in the auditory cortex of awake macaques

Neuron. 2005 Oct 6;48(1):139-48. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2005.08.039.


Acoustic sequences such as speech and music are generally perceived as coherent auditory "streams," which can be individually attended to and followed over time. Although the psychophysical stimulus parameters governing this "auditory streaming" are well established, the brain mechanisms underlying the formation of auditory streams remain largely unknown. In particular, an essential feature of the phenomenon, which corresponds to the fact that the segregation of sounds into streams typically takes several seconds to build up, remains unexplained. Here, we show that this and other major features of auditory-stream formation measured in humans using alternating-tone sequences can be quantitatively accounted for based on single-unit responses recorded in the primary auditory cortex (A1) of awake rhesus monkeys listening to the same sound sequences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Action Potentials / radiation effects
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Female
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Models, Neurological
  • Perceptual Masking
  • Pitch Discrimination / physiology
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Sound*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*