Microsecond precision in the auditory system of birds

It is a challenge to understand how the brain represents temporal events. One of the most intriguing questions is how sub-millisecond representation can be achieved despite the large temporal variations at all levels of processing. In this project we tackle such questions by a theoretical approach. This project is closely interconnected with the project of the cooperation partner. We use the auditory system as an example and study specifically the neurophonic potential, a frequency-following potential occurring in the network formed by nucleus magnocellularis and nucleus laminaris in the brainstem. The neurophonic has a temporal precision of some 20 microseconds. This local field potential consists of three spactral components. Through our studies, we expect to find out more about the origin of the three spectral components of the neurophonic potential. Our starting hypothesis is that magnocellular axons are the origin of high frequency-component of the neurophonic, while action potentials in the laminar neurons are the origin of the 1-2 kHz component of the neurophonic potential, and the spatial inhomogeneity of the number of synapses in the dorso-ventral direction is the origin of the biphasic low-frequency component (<1kHz) of the neurophonic potential. We shall use advanced analysis and simulation techniques and a close interaction with the experimental part to test these hypothesis. This research may have relevance to our understanding of brain processes and they might be applied, for example in brain-machine interfaces or in information technology.

Principal Investigators
Kempter, Richard Prof. Dr. (Details) (Junior Research Groups (Biology))

Duration of Project
Start date: 04/2007
End date: 02/2010


Last updated on 2020-09-03 at 17:02