Syllabus
Home Practical Information Calendar Syllabus Atlas of Auditory CNS in Cat

HST.723J/9.285J - Neural Coding and Perception of Sound

Spring 2012

 

The  course is organized by themes forming a coherent set of lectures, laboratory exercises and discussions of scientific papers.  

Themes:

  1. Masking and frequency selectivity:   Lectures  Theme Papers  Lab

  2. Cellular mechanisms in the cochlear nucleus: Lectures Theme Papers Lab

  3. Binaural interactions:  Lectures Theme Papers

  4. Cochlear implants: Lecture Theme Papers

  5. Auditory cortex and plasticity: Lectures Theme Papers

  6. Pitch and temporal coding:  Lectures Theme Papers  

  7. Auditory scene analysis and object formation: Lecture

This page has links to all laboratory instructions and papers for discussion, and most lecture notes.  Some lecture notes are available both in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and as MS Powerpoint presentations (PPT).  The latter can be directly viewed with your browser if you have installed Powerpoint on your computer.  Lecture notes are only accessible to members of the MIT community.  

Some of the papers for theme discussions are not finalized.

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Introductory lecture

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Hearing and the auditory system: An overview.  PDF PPT  Stages of processing in the auditory system and their function.  Detection, localization and recognition of sounds.  Auditory demonstrations. (Delgutte)

Theme 1: Masking and Frequency Selectivity

Lectures

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Functional cochlear mechanics.  PDF  PPT Cochlear tuning.  Hair cell transduction. Nonlinearities.  The cochlear amplifier. Otoacoustic emissions. (Guinan)

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Stimulus coding in the auditory nerve. PDF PPT  The AN as an information conduit.  Frequency tuning.  Nonlinearities.  Relation of AN activity to cochlear processing.  Neural variability as a limit on psychophysical performance.  Compound action potential. (Delgutte)  

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Masking and frequency selectivity. PDF PPT  Additional notes, and this too.  Psychophysical techniques.  Power spectrum model of masking.  Techniques for measuring auditory filters.  Psychophysical effects of cochlear nonlinearities. (Guinan) 

Laboratory

bulletLab 1:  What was the stimulus? PPT (Delgutte)

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 2: Cellular Mechanisms in the Cochlear Nucleus

Lectures

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Channels, synapses, and neurotransmitters.  PDF  See also  And this too  Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission.  Neurotransmitters and receptors.  Second messengers.  (Guinan)

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Cellular mechanisms in the cochlear nucleus.  PDF PPT Parallel processing pathways in the cochlear nucleus.  Correlation of cell types with response types.  Neural specializations for temporal processing.  (Brown)

Laboratory

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Lab 2: Single-unit typing in the cochlear nucleus (Brown)  

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 3: Binaural Interactions

Lectures

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Binaural hearing. PDF PPT  Localization and lateralization.  Cues for sound localization.  Sensitivity to binaural cues.  The Jeffress model Hearing in everyday environments: The precedence effect, binaural unmasking. (Delgutte)

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Binaural interactions in the auditory brainstem. PDF PPT  Neural circuitry and cellular specializations for binaural processing.  Two basic forms of binaural interactions. Transformations of binaural information in the auditory pathway. (Day)

Laboratories

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Binaural hearing demonstrations

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Neuroanatomy demonstrations (Brown)

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 4: Cochlear Implants

Lecture

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Cochlear Implants.  PDF  Electrodes and processors.  Basic auditory capabilities of implantees.  Effect of electrode configuration.  Processor design.  Bilateral implants. (Eddington)

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 5: Auditory Cortex: Neural Maps and Plasticity

Lectures

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Cortical organizationPDF  Organization of Core and Belt Areas.  Organization of columnar, afferent, and efferent connections.  Coding strategies.  Plasticity of sensory representations during development and adulthood.  (Polley)

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Neural basis of human hearing.  PDF  PPT Imaging modalities: fMRI, MEG, AEP.  Tonotopy in human auditory cortex.  What and where pathways.  Tinnitus-related abnormalities in brain activation.  (Melcher)

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 6: Pitch and Temporal Coding

Lectures

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Pitch: Perception and peripheral neural representation. PDF PPT  Pitch of pure and complex tones.  Place and temporal models of pitch processing.  Peripheral representations of pitch.  Pitch processing in the auditory brainstem.  Role of pitch in auditory scene analysis. (Delgutte)

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Coding of pitch and rhythm in auditory cortex.  PDF PPT  Pitch neurons and pitch center.  Underlying mechanisms.  Rate and temporal coding of rhythm (Bendor)

Papers for discussion Final

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Theme 7: Auditory Scene Analysis and Object Formation

Lecture

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Auditory scene analysis, object formation and attention (ASA). PPT PDF Bottom-up ("primitive") and top-down ("schema based") mechanisms.  Auditory object formation and selection.  Gestalt approach to scene analysis.  Role of attention.  Neural correlates of attention  (Shinn-Cunningham)

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