Neuronas que codifican la dirección del sonido

Translated title of the contribution: Neurons that encode sound direction

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction. In the auditory system, the inner ear breaks down complex signals into their spectral components, and encodes the amplitude and phase of each. In order to infer sound direction in space, a computation on each frequency component of the sound must be performed. Development. Space-specific neurons in the owl's inferior colliculus respond only to sounds coming from a particular direction and represent the results of this computation. The interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD define the auditory space for the owl and are processed inseparate neural pathways. Theparallel pathways that process these cues merge in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus where the space-specific neurons are selective to combinations of ITD and ILD. How do inputs from the two sources interact to produce combination selectivity to ITD-ILD pairs? A multiplication of postsynaptic potentials tuned to ITD and ILD can account for the subthreshold responses of these neurons to ITD-ILD pairs. Examples of multiplication by neurons or neural circuits are scarce, but many computational models assume the existence of this basic operation. The owl's auditory system uses such operation to create a 2-dimensional map of auditory space. The map of space in the owl's auditory system shows important similarities with representations of space in the cerebral cortex and other sensory systems. In encoding space or other stimulus features, individual neurons appear to possess analogous functional properties related to the synthesis of high-order receptive fields.

Translated title of the contributionNeurons that encode sound direction
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalRevista de Neurologia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory system
  • Binaural cues
  • Map of space
  • Sound localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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