Behind the scenes of auditory perception

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Jun;20(3):361-6. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.03.009. Epub 2010 Apr 22.


'Auditory scenes' often contain contributions from multiple acoustic sources. These are usually heard as separate auditory 'streams', which can be selectively followed over time. How and where these auditory streams are formed in the auditory system is one of the most fascinating questions facing auditory scientists today. Findings published within the past two years indicate that both cortical and subcortical processes contribute to the formation of auditory streams, and they raise important questions concerning the roles of primary and secondary areas of auditory cortex in this phenomenon. In addition, these findings underline the importance of taking into account the relative timing of neural responses, and the influence of selective attention, in the search for neural correlates of the perception of auditory streams.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Hearing / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Sensory Receptor Cells / physiology