Distinct Manifestations of Cooperative, Multidimensional Stimulus Representations in Different Auditory Forebrain Stations

Cereb Cortex. 2020 May 14;30(5):3130-3147. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhz299.


Classic spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) for auditory neurons are usually expressed as a single linear filter representing a single encoded stimulus feature. Multifilter STRF models represent the stimulus-response relationship of primary auditory cortex (A1) neurons more accurately because they can capture multiple stimulus features. To determine whether multifilter processing is unique to A1, we compared the utility of single-filter versus multifilter STRF models in the medial geniculate body (MGB), anterior auditory field (AAF), and A1 of ketamine-anesthetized cats. We estimated STRFs using both spike-triggered average (STA) and maximally informative dimension (MID) methods. Comparison of basic filter properties of first maximally informative dimension (MID1) and second maximally informative dimension (MID2) in the 3 stations revealed broader spectral integration of MID2s in MGBv and A1 as opposed to AAF. MID2 peak latency was substantially longer than for STAs and MID1s in all 3 stations. The 2-filter MID model captured more information and yielded better predictions in many neurons from all 3 areas but disproportionately more so in AAF and A1 compared with MGBv. Significantly, information-enhancing cooperation between the 2 MIDs was largely restricted to A1 neurons. This demonstrates significant differences in how these 3 forebrain stations process auditory information, as expressed in effective and synergistic multifilter processing.

Keywords: auditory forebrain; cat; multiple filters; predictions; spectrotemporal receptive fields; transformations.

Publication types

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