Auditory timing-tuned neural responses in the human auditory cortices

Martijn van Ackooij, Jacob M Paul, Wietske van der Zwaag, Nathan van der Stoep, Ben M Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Perception of sub-second auditory event timing supports multisensory integration, and speech and music perception and production. Neural populations tuned for the timing (duration and rate) of visual events were recently described in several human extrastriate visual areas. Here we ask whether the brain also contains neural populations tuned for auditory event timing, and whether these are shared with visual timing. Using 7T fMRI, we measured responses to white noise bursts of changing duration and rate. We analyzed these responses using neural response models describing different parametric relationships between event timing and neural response amplitude. This revealed auditory timing-tuned responses in the primary auditory cortex, and auditory association areas of the belt, parabelt and premotor cortex. While these areas also showed tonotopic tuning for auditory pitch, pitch and timing preferences were not consistently correlated. Auditory timing-tuned response functions differed between these areas, though without clear hierarchical integration of responses. The similarity of auditory and visual timing tuned responses, together with the lack of overlap between the areas showing these responses for each modality, suggests modality-specific responses to event timing are computed similarly but from different sensory inputs, and then transformed differently to suit the needs of each modality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119366
Publication statusPublished - 08 Jun 2022


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