Otazu, Gonzalo H.; Leibold, Christian
(13. September 2011):
A Corticothalamic Circuit Model for Sound Identification in Complex Scenes.
In: PLOS ONE
The identification of the sound sources present in the environment is essential for the survival of many animals. However, these sounds are not presented in isolation, as natural scenes consist of a superposition of sounds originating from multiple sources. The identification of a source under these circumstances is a complex computational problem that is readily solved by most animals. We present a model of the thalamocortical circuit that performs level-invariant recognition of auditory objects in complex auditory scenes. The circuit identifies the objects present from a large dictionary of possible elements and operates reliably for real sound signals with multiple concurrently active sources. The key model assumption is that the activities of some cortical neurons encode the difference between the observed signal and an internal estimate. Reanalysis of awake auditory cortex recordings revealed neurons with patterns of activity corresponding to such an error signal.