Spiking neurons learning phase delays: How mammals may develop auditory time-difference sensitivity

Christian Leibold, J. Van Leo Hemmen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Time differences between the two ears are an important cue for animals to azimuthally locate a sound source. The first binaural brainstem nucleus, in mammals the medial superior olive, is generally believed to perform the necessary computations. Its cells are sensitive to variations of interaural time differences of about 10 μs. The classical explanation of such a neuronal time-difference tuning is based on the physical concept of delay lines. Recent data, however, are inconsistent with a temporal delay and rather favor a phase delay. By means of a biophysical model we show how spike-timing-dependent synaptic learning explains precise interplay of excitation and inhibition and, hence, accounts for a physical realization of a phase delay.

Original languageEnglish
Article number168102
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume94
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2005

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