Encoding of sound frequency and location in human subcortical structures
Michelle Moerel 1 , Federico De Martino 2 , Roberta Santoro 2 , Kamil Ugurbil 1 , Essa Yacoub 1 , and Elia Formisano 2
Department of Radiology, Center for Magnetic
Resonance Research, University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States,
of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University,
We combined computational modeling with ultra-high field
fMRI (7T) to explore responses to natural sounds in two
subcortical auditory structures: the inferior colliculus
(IC) and the medial geniculate body (MGB). Out of four
computational models tested, only a model with a
dependent frequency by location tuning could
significantly predict responses to novel testing sounds.
This suggests that at the level of IC and MGB, neuronal
populations jointly encode sound frequency and sound
location. Color-coding voxels according to their best
frequency and location revealed fine-grained tonotopic
maps and tuning to contralateral sound locations.
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