A neural cocktail-party processor

Biol Cybern. 1986;54(1):29-40. doi: 10.1007/BF00337113.


Sensory segmentation is an outstanding unsolved problem of theoretical, practical and technical importance. The basic idea of a solution is described in the form of a model. The response of "neurons" within the sensory field is temporally unstable. Segmentation is expressed by synchronization within segments and desynchronization between segments. Correlations are generated by an autonomous pattern formation process. Neuronal coupling is the result both of peripheral evidence (similarity of local quality) and of central evidence (common membership in a stored pattern). The model is consistent with known anatomy and physiology. However, a new physiological function, synaptic modulation, has to be postulated. The present paper restricts explicit treatment to the peripheral evidence represented by amplitude modulations globally present in all components of a sound spectrum. Generalization to arbitrary sensory qualities will be the subject of a later paper. The model is an application and illustration of the Correlation Theory of brain function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mathematics
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Neural Conduction
  • Neural Inhibition
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Pattern Recognition, Automated
  • Synapses / physiology