Tonotopic organization in auditory cortex of the cat

J Comp Neurol. 1980 Jul 15;192(2):265-91. doi: 10.1002/cne.901920207.


Microelectrode mapping techniques were employed in the cat's auditory cortex to relate the best frequencies of a large population of neurons with their spatial loci. Based upon the best-frequency distribution, the auditory region was divided into four complete and orderly tonotopic representations and a surrounding belt of cortex in which the tonotopic organization was more complex. The four auditory fields occupy a crescent-shaped band of tissue which comprises portions of both the exposed gyral surfaces and sulcal banks of the ectosylvian cortex. The anterior auditory field (A) is situated most rostrally upon the anterior ectosylvian gyrus. It extends upon the ventral bank of the suprasylvian sulcus and upon the banks of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus. Adjoining field A caudally is the primary auditory field (AI), which extends across the middle ectosylvian gyrus and portions of both banks of the posterior ectosylvian sulcus. The representations of the highest best frequencies in fields A and AI are contiguous. Caudal and ventral to AI are located the posterior (P) and ventroposterior (VP) auditory fields. They lie mainly upon the caudal bank of the posterior ectosylvian sulcus but also extend upon the rostral bank and upon the posterior ectosylvian gyrus. The low best-frequency representations of fields AI and P are contiguous, whereas the low best-frequency representation of field VP lies near the ventral end of the posterior ectosylvian sulcus. Fields P and VP are joined along their middle and high best-frequency representations. Within each auditory field isofrequency lines defined by the spatial loci of neurons with similar best frequencies are oriented orthogonal to the low-to-high best-frequency gradients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Auditory Perception / physiology
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Cats
  • Cerebral Aqueduct / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Neurons / physiology