The long-term objectives of this research program are to understand how temporal patterns in communication sounds are represented and processed in the central auditory system. Much of the information in communication signals, including human speech, resides in their temporal structure, and deficits in processing temporal information underlie disorders in speech recognition. An understanding of how the temporal structure of sounds is represented and processed in the nervous system is vital, therefore, to understanding the neural bases of communication and communicative disorders. The research will be conducted on the auditory system of anurans because the temporal structure of their vocalizations has been shown to be important in their reproductive biology, and they are well suited for neurophysiological investigations of the mechanisms that underlie temporal processing. Presently, little is known concerning the neural mechanisms of temporal processing in the auditory system. At a basic level, the temporal structure of sound consists of how its amplitude and frequency changes, i.e., is modulated, over time. The specific goals of this research project are to gain insight into how amplitude modulations, including pulse duration and rise time, are represented in the brain and the mechanisms that underlie transformations in these representations. In a number of vertebrate species, including mammals, there is a transformation from a periodicity coding of the rate of amplitude modulation to an AM filter representation;most neurons in the midbrain respond best over a particular range of AM rate, i.e., are band-pass. The mechanisms underlying this transformation are poorly understood. Previous work suggests that interplay between excitation, inhibition and plasticity underlies the selectivity of midbrain neurons for AM rate, sound duration and possibly rise time. The specific experiments outlined in this research proposal are designed to further elucidate how these synaptic properties are integrated by midbrain neurons to generate selectivity for these temporal features of sounds.

Public Health Relevance

Presently, little is known concerning the neural mechanisms of temporal processing in the auditory system. Previous work suggests that interplay between excitation, inhibition and plasticity underlies the selectivity of midbrain neurons for AM rate, sound duration and possibly rise time. The specific experiments outlined in this research proposal are designed to further elucidate how these synaptic properties are integrated by midbrain neurons to generate selectivity for these temporal features of sounds.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC003788-13
Application #
8278029
Study Section
Auditory System Study Section (AUD)
Program Officer
Platt, Christopher
Project Start
2000-02-01
Project End
2015-06-30
Budget Start
2012-07-01
Budget End
2013-06-30
Support Year
13
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$309,579
Indirect Cost
$103,879
Name
University of Utah
Department
Biology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
009095365
City
Salt Lake City
State
UT
Country
United States
Zip Code
84112
Rose, Gary J; Alluri, Rishi K; Vasquez-Opazo, Gustavo A et al. (2013) Combining pharmacology and whole-cell patch recording from CNS neurons, in vivo. J Neurosci Methods 213:99-104
Leary, Christopher J; Edwards, Christofer J; Rose, Gary J (2008) Midbrain auditory neurons integrate excitation and inhibition to generate duration selectivity: an in vivo whole-cell patch study in anurans. J Neurosci 28:5481-93
Alder, T B; Rose, G J (2000) Integration and recovery processes contribute to the temporal selectivity of neurons in the midbrain of the northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. J Comp Physiol A 186:923-37