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Abstract #0391

Columnar processing of acoustic features in human auditory cortex

Michelle Moerel1,2, Federico De Martino2,3, Kamil Ugurbil3, Elia Formisano1,2, and Essa Yacoub3

1Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 2Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands, 3Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States

Using ultra-high field fMRI, we explored the cortical depth dependent stability of acoustic feature preference in human auditory cortex. In accordance with results from invasive recordings in cat auditory cortex, we observed a relatively stable (i.e., columnar) tuning to frequency and temporal modulations, while spectral modulation tuning was less stable throughout the cortical depth. This could represent simpler spectral tuning in middle auditory cortical layers, compared to more complex spectral tuning superficially. Furthermore, results suggest a coding strategy in which tuning to some features is kept stable orthogonal to the cortex, while tuning to other features systematically varies.

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