Insights on the neuromagnetic representation of temporal asymmetry in human auditory cortex

Tabas, Alejandro and Siebert, Anita and Supek, Selma and Pressnitzer, Daniel and Balaguer-Ballester, Emil and Rupp, Andre (2016) Insights on the neuromagnetic representation of temporal asymmetry in human auditory cortex. PLoS One, 11 (4). e0153947-21. ISSN 1932-6203

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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. Furthermore, the N100m magnitude is successfully explained by two pitch perception models using multiple scales of temporal integration of auditory nerve activity patterns. This striking correlation between AEFs, perception, and model predictions suggests that the N100m reflects physiological mechanisms of temporal asymmetry processing of pitch.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: magnetoencephalography, auditory evoked fields (AEF), N100m, temporal asymmetry processing, damped and ramped tones, auditory modelling, psychophysical studies
Date: 20 April 2016
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Physics
Additional Information: © 2016 Tabas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Received: November 24, 2015. Accepted: April 6, 2016. Published: April 20, 2016.
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Physics
Project code: MZT 0119265
Publisher: PLOS
Depositing User: Gordana Stubičan Ladešić
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 15:18
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2017 15:18

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