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Journal Article

Looming Biases in Monkey Auditory Cortex


Maier,  JX
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

Ghazanfar,  AA
Department Physiology of Cognitive Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Maier, J., & Ghazanfar, A. (2007). Looming Biases in Monkey Auditory Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 27(15), 4093-4100. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0330-07.2007.

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Looming signals (signals that indicate the rapid approach of objects) are behaviorally relevant signals for all animals. Accordingly, studies in primates (including humans) reveal attentional biases for detecting and responding to looming versus receding signals in both the auditory and visual domains. We investigated the neural representation of these dynamic signals in the lateral belt auditory cortex of rhesus monkeys. By recording local field potential and multiunit spiking activity while the subjects were presented with auditory looming and receding signals, we show here that auditory cortical activity was biased in magnitude toward looming versus receding stimuli. This directional preference was not attributable to the absolute intensity of the sounds nor can it be attributed to simple adaptation, because white noise stimuli with identical amplitude envelopes did not elicit the same pattern of responses. This asymmetrical representation of looming versus receding sounds in the lateral belt auditory cortex suggests that it is an important node in the neural network correlate of looming perception.