The what, where and how of auditory-object perception

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Oct;14(10):693-707. doi: 10.1038/nrn3565.


The fundamental perceptual unit in hearing is the 'auditory object'. Similar to visual objects, auditory objects are the computational result of the auditory system's capacity to detect, extract, segregate and group spectrotemporal regularities in the acoustic environment; the multitude of acoustic stimuli around us together form the auditory scene. However, unlike the visual scene, resolving the component objects within the auditory scene crucially depends on their temporal structure. Neural correlates of auditory objects are found throughout the auditory system. However, neural responses do not become correlated with a listener's perceptual reports until the level of the cortex. The roles of different neural structures and the contribution of different cognitive states to the perception of auditory objects are not yet fully understood.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Acoustics
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Humans