Neural processes for experiencing a musical note
The early auditory system decomposes incoming sounds into a collection of sine waves with different frequencies. But we would not describe our everyday experience of hearing sound as one of “perceiving frequencies”. Rather, we hear complex features such as a familiar voice or a musical melody. My research group examines how the auditory cortex integrates the frequency and timing components of sounds into more behaviourally relevant features, such as “pitch”. Pitch is our perception of the tonal quality of sounds that allows us to experience musical melody. We are using a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural and 2-photon calcium imaging techniques in ferrets to better understand how populations of auditory cortical neurons encode a sound’s pitch. Our results have provided insights into the mechanisms used by individual neurons and neural populations to produce our perception of pitch across a wide range of complex sounds. This work helps explain how we can recognize a familiar tune on a violin or piano.
Date: 21 February 2019, 16:00 (Thursday, 6th week, Hilary 2019)
Venue: Sherrington Library, off Parks Road OX1 3PT
Speaker: Associate Professor Kerry Walker (DPAG, University of Oxford)
Host: Tai-Ying Lee
Part of: Cortex Club - Oxford Neuroscience Society
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Public
Editor: Tai-Ying Lee