The long-term objective of this research is to understand both neural mechanisms for processing communication sounds and fundamental neural coding mechanisms in auditory cortex that subserve cortical representations of biologically relevant sounds. We will use the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) as our experimental model to address these questions. This model system provides several important advantages over other species, namely, a hearing range similar to that of humans, a rich vocal repertoire, an auditory cortex that lies largely on the lateral surface of the cerebral cortex and a high reproductive rate while in captivity. In this application, we will focus on elucidating information processing mechanisms in the rostral areas outside the primary auditory cortex (A1).
Aim 1 will study neural representations of marmoset vocalizations in the rostral areas using "virtual vocalization" stimuli that we have recently developed in our laboratory. These stimuli are based on the statistics of marmoset vocalizations and can be easily manipulated in both spectral and temporal domains to probe cortical responses with great flexibility.
Aim 2 will investigate the roles of spectral and temporal pitch mechanisms in generating pitch-selective neural responses in a "pitch- region" located in the rostral areas. Results of this aim will pave the way for further studies to investigate anatomical connectivity of pitch-selective neurons in auditory cortex.
Aim 3 will use sleep as a unique behavior state to study the state-dependent processing in the rostral areas. We will quantitatively evaluate neural responses in the rostral areas to external sounds during sleep. The transformation of cortical representations of sound-evoked responses during sleep from A1 to the rostral areas will provide further insight into information processing streams within the superior temporal gyrus.

Public Health Relevance

The auditory cortex, the part of the brain being studied in this application, is a crucial for our hearing and speech and language. Findings of the present study will contribute to our basic understanding of the cortical representation of complex acoustic stimuli, and will have implications for the neural basis of human speech perception and for designing better hearing aids and prosthetic devices for the deaf and hearing-impaired.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC003180-16
Application #
8209239
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-B (02))
Program Officer
Platt, Christopher
Project Start
1997-01-01
Project End
2014-12-31
Budget Start
2012-01-01
Budget End
2012-12-31
Support Year
16
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$491,475
Indirect Cost
$191,795
Name
Johns Hopkins University
Department
Biomedical Engineering
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
001910777
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Country
United States
Zip Code
21218
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Huang, Juan; Gamble, Darik; Sarnlertsophon, Kristine et al. (2013) Integration of auditory and tactile inputs in musical meter perception. Adv Exp Med Biol 787:453-61
Osmanski, Michael S; Song, Xindong; Wang, Xiaoqin (2013) The role of harmonic resolvability in pitch perception in a vocal nonhuman primate, the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). J Neurosci 33:9161-8
Bartlett, Edward L; Sadagopan, Srivatsun; Wang, Xiaoqin (2011) Fine frequency tuning in monkey auditory cortex and thalamus. J Neurophysiol 106:849-59
Osmanski, Michael S; Wang, Xiaoqin (2011) Measurement of absolute auditory thresholds in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus). Hear Res 277:127-33
Issa, Elias B; Wang, Xiaoqin (2011) Altered neural responses to sounds in primate primary auditory cortex during slow-wave sleep. J Neurosci 31:2965-73
Bartlett, Edward L; Wang, Xiaoqin (2011) Correlation of neural response properties with auditory thalamus subdivisions in the awake marmoset. J Neurophysiol 105:2647-67
Bendor, Daniel; Wang, Xiaoqin (2010) Neural coding of periodicity in marmoset auditory cortex. J Neurophysiol 103:1809-22

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