Presentation on theme: "Localising Sounds in Space"— Presentation transcript:
1Localising Sounds in Space MSc NeuroscienceProf. Jan Schnupp
2Objectives of This Lecture: Acoustic Cues to Sound Source PositionCues to DirectionInteraural Level CuesInteraural Time CuesSpectral CuesCues to DistanceEncoding of Spatial Cues in the BrainstemDivisions of the Cochlear NucleusProperties of the Superior Olivary NucleiRepresentation of Auditory Space in Midbrain And CortexThe “auditory space map” in Superior ColliculusThe role of Primary Auditory Cortex (A1)“Where” and “What” streams in auditory belt areas?Distributed, “panoramic” spike pattern codes?
4Interaural Time Difference (ITD) Cues ITDs are powerful cues to sound source direction, but they are ambiguous (“cones of confusion”)
5Interaural Level Cues (ILDs) ILD at 700 HzILD at HzUnlike ITDs, ILDs are highly frequency dependent. At higher sound frequencies ILDs tend to become larger, more complex, and hence potentially more informative.
6Binaural Cues in the Barn Owl Barn owls have highly asymmetric outer ears, with one ear pointing up, the other down. Consequently, at high frequencies, barn owl ILDs vary with elevation, rather than with azimuth (D). Consequently ITD and ILD cues together form a grid specifying azimuth and elevation respectively.
8Spectral Cues in the Cat For frontal sound source positions, the cat outer ear produces a “mid frequency (first) notch” near 10 kHz (A). The precise notch frequency varies systematically with both azimuth and elevation. Thus, the first notch iso-frequency contours for both ears together form a fairly regular grid across the cat’s frontal hemifield (B). From Rice et al. (1992).
9Adapting to Changes in Spectral Cues Hofman et al. made human volunteers localize sounds in the dark, then introduced plastic molds to change the shape of the concha. This disrupted spectral cues and led to poor localization, particularly in elevation.Over a prolonged period of wearing the molds, (up to 3 weeks) localization accuracy improved.
11Phase LockingAuditory Nerve Fibers are most likely to fire action potentials “at the crest” of the sound wave. This temporal bias known as “phase locking”.Phase locking is crucial to ITD processing, since it provides the necessary precise temporal information.Mammalian ANF cannot phase lock to frequencies faster than 3-4 kHz.Evans (1975)https://mustelid.physiol.ox.ac.uk/drupal/?q=ear/phase_locking
12Preservation of Time Cues in AVCN Auditory Nerve Fibers connect to spherical and globular bushy cells in the antero-ventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) via large, fast and secure synapses known as “endbulbs of Held”.Phase locking in bushy cells is even more precise than in the afferent nerve fibers.Bushy cells project to the superior olivary complex.spherical bushy cellendbulb of HeldVIII nerve fiber
13Extraction of Spectral Cues in DCN BushyMultipolar (Stellate)PyramidalOctopus“Type IV” neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus often have inhibitory frequency response areas with excitatory sidebands. This makes them sensitive to “spectral notches” like those seen in spectral localisation cues.
14Superior Olivary Nuclei: Binaural Convergence Medial superior oliveexcitatory inputfrom each side (EE)Lateral superior oliveinhibitory inputfrom the contralateralside (EI)
15Processing of Interaural Level Differences Interaural intensity differenceLSO neuron responseSound on theipsilateral sideContralateralsideC > II > CLateral superior olive
16Processing of Interaural Time Differences MSO neuron responseSound on theipsilateral sideContra-lateral sideMedial superior olive
17How Does the MSO Detect Interaural Time Differences? From contralateral AVCNJeffress Delay Line and Coincidence Detector Model.MSO neurons are thought to fire maximally only if they receive simultaneous input from both ears.If the input from one or the other ear is delayed by some amount (e.g. because the afferent axons are longer or slower) then the MSO neuron will fire maximally only if an interaural delay in the arrival time at the ears exactly compensates for the transmission delay.In this way MSO neurons become tuned to characteristic interaural delays.The delay tuning must be extremely sharp: ITDs of only ms must be resolved to account for sound localisation performance.From ipsilateral AVCNhttps://mustelid.physiol.ox.ac.uk/drupal/?q=topics/jeffress-model-animation
18The Calyx of HeldMNTB relay neurons receive their input via very large calyx of Held synapses.These secure synapses would not be needed if the MNTB only fed into “ILD pathway” in the LSO.MNTB also provides precisely timed inhibition to MSO.
19Inhibition in the MSOFrom Brandt et al., Nature 2002For many MSO neurons best ITD neurons are outside the physiological range.The code for ITD set up in the MSO may be more like a rate code than a time code.Blocking glycinergic inhibition (from MNTB) reduces the amount of spike rate modulation seen over physiological ITD ranges.
20The Superior Olivary Nuclei – a Summary Excitatory ConnectionMost neurons in the LSO receive inhibitory input from the contralateral ear and excitatory input from the ipsilateral ear (IE). Consequently they are sensitive to ILDs, responding best to sounds that are louder in the ipsilateral ear.Neurons in the MSO receive direct excitatory input from both ears and fire strongly only when the inputs are temporally co-incident. This makes them sensitive to ITDs.Inhibitory ConnectionMidlineICICLSOMNTBMSOCNCN
22The “Auditory Space Map” in the Superior Colliculus The SC is involved in directing orienting reflexes and gaze shifts.Acoustically responsive neurons in rostral SC tend to be tuned to frontal sound source directions, while caudal SC neurons prefer contralateral directions.Similarly, lateral SC neurons prefer low, medial neurons prefer high sound source elevations.
23Eye Position Effects in Monkey Sparks Physiol Rev 1986
24Possible Explanations for Sparks’ Data Underlying spatial receptive fields might shift left or right with changes in gaze direction, or hey might shift up or down.
25Creating Virtual Acoustic Space (VAS) Probe Microphones
26VAS response fields of CNS neurons 90-90Microelectrode Recordings
27Passive Eye Displacement Effects in Superior Colliculus Zella, Brugge & Schnupp Nat Neurosci 2001SC auditory receptive fields mapped with virtual acoustic space in barbiturate anaesthetized cat.RF mapping repeated after eye was displaced by pulling on the eye with a suture running through the sclera.
28Lesion Studies Suggest Important Role for A1 Jenkins & Merzenich, J. Neurophysiol, 1984
30Predicting Space from Spectrum Left and Right Ear Frequency-Time Response FieldsVirtual Acoustic Space StimuliPredicting Space from SpectrumdFrequency [kHz]Elev [deg]becfSchnupp et al Nature 2001
31Examples of Predicted and Observed Spatial Receptive Fields
32“Higher Order” Cortical Areas In the macaque, primary auditory cortex(A1) is surrounded by rostral (R), lateral (L), caudo-medial (CM) and medial “belt areas”.L can be further subdivided into anterior, medial and caudal subfields (AL, ML, CL)
33Are there “What” and “Where” Streams in Auditory Cortex? Anterolateral BeltSome reports suggest that anterior cortical belt areas may more selective for sound identity and less for sound source location, while caudal belt areas are more location specific.It has been hypothesized that these may be the starting positions for a ventral “what” stream heading for inferotemporal cortex and a dorsal “where” stream which heads for postero-parietal cortex.Caudolateral Belt
34A “Panoramic” Code for Auditory Space? Middlebrooks et al. found neural spike patterns to vary systematically with sound source direction in a number cortical areas of the cat (AES, A1, A2, PAF).Artificial neural networks can be trained to estimate sound source azimuth from the neural spike pattern.Spike trains in PAF carry more spatial information than other areas, but in principle spatial information is available in all auditory cortical areas tested so far.
35Azimuth, Pitch and Timbre Sensitivity in Ferret Auditory Cortex Bizley, Walker, Silverman, King & Schnupp - J Neurosci 2009
36Cortical Deactivation Deactivating some cortical areas (A1, PAF) by cooling impairs sound localization, but impairing others (AAF) does not.Lomber & Malhorta J. Neurophys (2003)
37SummaryA variety of acoustic cues give information relating to the direction and distance of a sound source.Virtually nothing is known about the neural processing of distance cues.The cues to direction include binaural cues and monaural spectral cues. These cues appear to be first encoded in the brainstem and then combined in midbrain and cortex.ITDs are encoded in the MSO, ILDs in the LSO.The Superior Colliculus is the only structure in the mammalian brain that contains a topographic map of auditory space.Lesion studies point to an important role of auditory cortex in many sound localisation behaviours.The spatial tuning of many A1 neurons is easily predicted from spectral tuning properties, suggesting that A1 represents spatial information only “implicitly”.Recent work suggests that caudal belt areas of auditory cortex may be specialized for aspects of spatial hearing. However, other researchers posit a distributed “panoramic” spike pattern code that operates across many cortical areas.
38For a Reading ListSee reading lists atAnd for demos and media see