Central Audition, from Cochlear Nucleus to Auditory Cortex, from Hearing to Language to Speech.

IgNobel of the Week (for fun)

  • 2015 - Professor Nick Enfield of the University of Sydney, for breakthrough research in linguistics that found evidence of a universal trait in human conversation.
    In a major cross-linguistic study, they sampled 31 languages and found all have a word with a near-identical sound and function as 'Huh' in the English language; evidence, they proposed, that 'Huh' is an indispensable tool in human communication.

    Intro blurb from

    Intro article

    and paper...
    Dingemanse M, Roberts SG, Baranova J, Blythe J, Drew P, et al. (2015) Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems. PLOS ONE 10(9): e0136100.

    Introductory and Original Literature Readings for discussion on October 20.

  • Review Kandel, Schwartz, Jessell, Chapter 31.
  • Chapter 6, The Brainstem Nuclei, from Pickles J.O., An Introduction to the Physiology of Hearing, 2nd edition, London:Academic Press, 1988.
  • Chapter 7, The Auditory Cortex, ibid.
  • Imig, TJ, Brugge, JF. (1978) Sources and terminations of callosal axons related to binaural and frequency maps in primary auditory cortex of the cat. J. Comp. Neur. 182: 637-660.

    Original Literature Readings for discussion on October 23.

  • Tian, B, Reser, D, Durham, A, Kustov, A, Rauschecker, JP. (2001) Functional specialization in rhesus monkey auditory cortex. Science 292: 290-293.
  • Knudsen, EI, Konishi, M. (1978) Space and frequency are represented separately in auditory midbrain of the owl. J. Neurophys. 41: 870-884.
  • Picture of an Owl's head.
  • Video clip of an owl catching a mouse in total darkness.
  • Suga, N, Jen, PHS. (1976) Disproportionate tonotopic representation for processing CF-FM sonar signals in the mustache bat auditory cortex. Science 194: 542-544.
  • Video clip of a bat catching a moth using sonar.
  • Suga, N, O'Neill, WE, Manabe, T. (1978) Cortical neurons sensitive to combinations of information-bearing elements of biosonar signals in the mustache bat. Science 200: 778-781
  • Suga, N. O'Neill, WE. (1979) Neural axis representating target range in the auditory cortex of the mustache bat. Science 206: 351-353.

    Original Literature Readings for discussion on October 25.

  • Stephanie A. White, Simon E. Fisher, Daniel H. Geschwind, Constance Scharff, and Timothy E. Holy (2006). Singing Mice, Songbirds, and More: Models for FOXP2 Function and Dysfunction in Human Speech and Language, The Journal of Neuroscience, October 11, 2006 - 26(41):10376-10379.
  • Simon E. Fisher and Constance Scharff (2009). FOXP2 as a molecular window into speech and language. Trends in Genetics 25:4 166-177.
  • Jean-Francois de Monet, Guillaume Thierry, and Dominique Cardebat (2005). Renewal of the Neurophysiology of Language: Functional Neuroimaging. Physiol Rev 85: 49-95.
  • Jeremy I. Skipper, Joseph T. Devlin, Daniel R. Lametti (2017) The hearing ear is always found close to the speaking tongue: Review of the role of the motor system in speech perception. Brain & Language 164: 77-105.

    Optional Readings

  • Cheung, SW, Bedenbaugh, PH, Nagarajan, SS, and Schreiner, CE, (2001) Functional Organization of Squirrel Monkey Primary Auditory Cortex: Responses to Pure Tones. J Neurophysiol 85: 1732 - 1749.
  • Wang, X, Merzenich, M, Beitel, R and Schreiner, CE. (1995) Representations of a species-specific vocalization in the primate auditory cortex of the common marmoset: Temporal and spatial characteristics. J. Neurophys. 74: 2685-2706.
  • Cecilia S. L. Lai, Simon E. Fisher, Jane A. Hurst, Faraneh Vargha-Khadem & Anthony P. Monaco (2001). A forkhead-domain gene is mutated in a severe speech and language disorder. Nature 413: 519-523.