Testing multi-scale processing in the auditory system

Xiangbin Teng, Xing Tian, David Poeppel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Natural sounds contain information on multiple timescales, so the auditory system must analyze and integrate acoustic information on those different scales to extract behaviorally relevant information. However, this multi-scale process in the auditory system is not widely investigated in the literature, and existing models of temporal integration are mainly built upon detection or recognition tasks on a single timescale. Here we use a paradigm requiring processing on relatively 'local' and 'global' scales and provide evidence suggesting that the auditory system extracts fine-detail acoustic information using short temporal windows and uses long temporal windows to abstract global acoustic patterns. Behavioral task performance that requires processing fine-detail information does not improve with longer stimulus length, contrary to predictions of previous temporal integration models such as the multiple-looks and the spectro-temporal excitation pattern model. Moreover, the perceptual construction of putatively 'unitary' auditory events requires more than hundreds of milliseconds. These findings support the hypothesis of a dual-scale processing likely implemented in the auditory cortex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34390
JournalScientific reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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