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Insights on the Neuromagnetic Representation of Temporal Asymmetry in Human Auditory Cortex.

Tabas, A., Siebert, A., Pressnitzer, D., Balaguer-Ballester, E. and Rupp, A., 2016. Insights on the Neuromagnetic Representation of Temporal Asymmetry in Human Auditory Cortex. PLoS ONE, 11 (4), 1-21.

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153947


Communication sounds are typically asymmetric in time and human listeners are highly sensitive to this short-term temporal asymmetry. Nevertheless, causal neurophysiological correlates of auditory perceptual asymmetry remain largely elusive to our current analyses and models. Auditory modelling and animal electrophysiological recordings suggest that perceptual asymmetry results from the presence of multiple time scales of temporal integration, central to the auditory periphery. To test this hypothesis we recorded auditory evoked fields (AEF) elicited by asymmetric sounds in humans. We found a strong correlation between perceived tonal salience of ramped and damped sinusoids and the AEFs, as quantified by the amplitude of the N100m dynamics. The N100m amplitude increased with stimulus half-life time, showing a maximum difference between the ramped and damped stimulus for a modulation half-life time of 4 ms which is greatly reduced at 0.5 ms and 32 ms. This behaviour of the N100m closely parallels psychophysical data in a manner that: i) longer half-life times are associated with a stronger tonal percept, and ii) perceptual differences between damped and ramped are maximal at 4 ms half-life time. Interestingly, differences in evoked fields were significantly stronger in the right hemisphere, indicating some degree of hemispheric specialisation. Furthermore, the N100m magnitude was successfully explained by a pitch perception model using multiple scales of temporal integration of auditory nerve activity patterns. This striking correlation between AEFs, perception, and model predictions suggests that the physiological mechanisms involved in the processing of pitch evoked by temporal asymmetric sounds are reflected in the N100m.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:23463
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:28 Apr 2016 13:36
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:55


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