We examined multiunit responses to tones and to 1/3 and 2/3 octave band-pass noise (BPN) in the marmoset primary auditory cortex (A1) and the caudomedial belt (CM). In both areas, BPN was more effective than tones, evoking multiunit responses at lower intensity and across a wider frequency range. Typically, the best responses to BPN remained at the characteristic frequency. Additionally, in both areas responses to BPN tended to be of greater magnitude and shorter latency than responses to tones. These effects are consistent with the integration of more excitatory inputs driven by BPN than by tones. While it is generally thought that single units in A1 prefer narrow band sounds such as tones, we found that best responses for multi units in both A1 and CM were obtained with noises of narrow spectral bandwidths.
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