Responses of single auditory cortical neurons to tone sequences

Brain Res. 1989 Feb 27;481(1):142-53. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(89)90494-0.


The responses of single neurons in the primary and secondary auditory cortex of cat were recorded during the presentation of sequences consisting of five tones of different frequencies. Discharges to tones within these sequences usually (84%) exhibited a dependence on the 'direction' of the sequence (ascending, descending, or mixed frequencies). For sequences consisting of 5 tones of identical frequency (monotone) the response often depended on serial position, including cases in which the neuron only responded to later tones in the sequence. Comparison of responses to heterogeneous and monotone sequences showed that response dependence on serial position was a factor in response dependence on sequence direction. Auditory cortical neurons can exhibit stronger responses to a tone presented in a sequence than to the same tone presented alone. Hence, the responses to tones within sequences may not be highly predictable from the responses to isolated tones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Audiometry*
  • Audiometry, Pure-Tone*
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Cats
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Male