Single-unit activity in the auditory cortex of monkeys actively localizing sound sources: spatial tuning and behavioral dependency

Brain Res. 1981 Aug 31;219(2):249-67. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(81)90290-0.


Single-unit recordings were made from the auditory cortex of unanesthetized rhesus monkeys which were trained to perform a second localization task. Recordings were made from 196 units in 4 animals. Five sound sources were located at 0 degrees (midline) and on either side at azimuths of 37.5 degrees and 75 degrees. Almost most units responded to each of the 5 sources, 49% of the units had peak firing rates for the source on the contralateral side at 75% azimuth. Another 26% of the units had peak firing rates at the 37.5 degrees contralateral location, while only 11% had peak rates for the ipsilateral locations. In order to determine whether the behavior of actively locating a sound source affected units in auditory cortex, response rates compared under two behavioral conditions: one which required the detection of a sound regardless of location and another condition which required identification of a sound's location. of the 196 units, 16 had different response rates for the two conditions, with 15 of the 16 units having higher evoked rates in the localization task. For the 16 units, the difference in firing rate was typically observed for a single speaker location. No correlation could be determined between a unit's location within the subdivisions of auditory cortex and its spatial tuning response properties or its dependency upon behavioral condition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Female
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Sound Localization / physiology*