Communication is one of the fundamental components of human and non-human animal behavior. The lateral belt of the auditory cortex (LB) in rhesus monkeys has recently been identified as a cortical area that plays an important role in vocalization processing. This grant application, which uses auditory-object analysis as a theoretical framework, tests the role of LB neurons in processing communication signals, both species-specific vocalizations and human spoken words.
In Aim 1, we test the capacity of neural activity in the lateral belt (LB) to differentiate between different vocalizations (auditory objects). We hypothesize that (1) LB neurons preferentially code different vocalizations as opposed to their spectrotemporal acoustic features and that (2) the capacity of LB neurons to code different vocalizations increases as the number of simultaneously tested neurons increases.
In Aim 2, we test the hypothesis that LB neurons respond in a categorical manner. Moreover, we hypothesize that the neural sensitivity of individual LB neurons mirrors the monkeys'perceptual sensitivity.
This Aim i s accomplished by obtained extracellular recordings of LB neurons while monkeys participate in a delayed category-to-match task. During this task, the monkeys categorize two human phonemes and morphed versions of these phonemes.
In Aim 3, we test the hypothesis that LB activity is less sensitive to the variance that occurs naturally in vocalizations than to types of variance that are not found naturally. We also hypothesize that this sensitivity mirrors the monkeys'behavioral sensitivity.
This aim i s accomplished by correlating recordings of LB neurons with the monkeys'performance on a delayed category-to-match task. During this task, the monkeys categorize vocalizations and these sets of artificial stimuli.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC009224-06
Application #
8196937
Study Section
Cognitive Neuroscience Study Section (COG)
Program Officer
Platt, Christopher
Project Start
2007-12-01
Project End
2013-11-30
Budget Start
2011-12-01
Budget End
2013-11-30
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$293,246
Indirect Cost
$109,967
Name
University of Pennsylvania
Department
Otolaryngology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
042250712
City
Philadelphia
State
PA
Country
United States
Zip Code
19104
Christison-Lagay, Kate L; Gifford, Adam M; Cohen, Yale E (2015) Neural correlates of auditory scene analysis and perception. Int J Psychophysiol 95:238-45
Gifford, Adam M; Cohen, Yale E; Stocker, Alan A (2014) Characterizing the impact of category uncertainty on human auditory categorization behavior. PLoS Comput Biol 10:e1003715
Christison-Lagay, Kate L; Bennur, Sharath; Blackwell, Jennifer et al. (2014) Natural variability in species-specific vocalizations constrains behavior and neural activity. Hear Res 312:128-42
Bennur, Sharath; Tsunada, Joji; Cohen, Yale E et al. (2013) Understanding the neurophysiological basis of auditory abilities for social communication: a perspective on the value of ethological paradigms. Hear Res 305:3-9
Habbershon, Holly M; Ahmed, Sarah Z; Cohen, Yale E (2013) Rhesus macaques recognize unique multimodal face-voice relations of familiar individuals and not of unfamiliar ones. Brain Behav Evol 81:219-25
Tsunada, Joji; Lee, Jung Hoon; Cohen, Yale E (2011) Representation of speech categories in the primate auditory cortex. J Neurophysiol 105:2634-46
Recanzone, Gregg H; Cohen, Yale E (2010) Serial and parallel processing in the primate auditory cortex revisited. Behav Brain Res 206:1-7
Cohen, Yale E (2009) Multimodal activity in the parietal cortex. Hear Res 258:100-5
Russ, Brian E; Orr, Lauren E; Cohen, Yale E (2008) Prefrontal neurons predict choices during an auditory same-different task. Curr Biol 18:1483-8