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Title: Invariance to background noise as a signature of non-primary auditory cortex

Abstract

Despite well-established anatomical differences between primary and non-primary auditory cortex, the associated representational transformations have remained elusive. Here we show that primary and non-primary auditory cortex are differentiated by their invariance to real-world background noise. We measured fMRI responses to natural sounds presented in isolation and in real-world noise, quantifying invariance as the correlation between the two responses for individual voxels. Non-primary areas were substantially more noise-invariant than primary areas. This primary-nonprimary difference occurred both for speech and non-speech sounds and was unaffected by a concurrent demanding visual task, suggesting that the observed invariance is not specific to speech processing and is robust to inattention. The difference was most pronounced for real-world background noise—both primary and non-primary areas were relatively robust to simple types of synthetic noise. Our results suggest a general representational transformation between auditory cortical stages, illustrating a representational consequence of hierarchical organization in the auditory system.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). McGovern Inst. for Brain Research, Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines; Columbia Univ., New York, NY (United States). Zuckerman Inst. of Mind, Brain, and Behavior
  2. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). McGovern Inst. for Brain Research, Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines; Harvard Univ., Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Krell Institute, Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Institutes of Health (NIH)
OSTI Identifier:
1610345
Grant/Contract Number:  
FG02-97ER25308; 1R01DC014739-01A1; R25GM067110; BCS-1634050; PHY17-48958
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 10; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES; Science & Technology - Other Topics

Citation Formats

Kell, Alexander J. E., and McDermott, Josh H. Invariance to background noise as a signature of non-primary auditory cortex. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11710-y.
Kell, Alexander J. E., & McDermott, Josh H. Invariance to background noise as a signature of non-primary auditory cortex. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11710-y
Kell, Alexander J. E., and McDermott, Josh H. Mon . "Invariance to background noise as a signature of non-primary auditory cortex". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11710-y. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1610345.
@article{osti_1610345,
title = {Invariance to background noise as a signature of non-primary auditory cortex},
author = {Kell, Alexander J. E. and McDermott, Josh H.},
abstractNote = {Despite well-established anatomical differences between primary and non-primary auditory cortex, the associated representational transformations have remained elusive. Here we show that primary and non-primary auditory cortex are differentiated by their invariance to real-world background noise. We measured fMRI responses to natural sounds presented in isolation and in real-world noise, quantifying invariance as the correlation between the two responses for individual voxels. Non-primary areas were substantially more noise-invariant than primary areas. This primary-nonprimary difference occurred both for speech and non-speech sounds and was unaffected by a concurrent demanding visual task, suggesting that the observed invariance is not specific to speech processing and is robust to inattention. The difference was most pronounced for real-world background noise—both primary and non-primary areas were relatively robust to simple types of synthetic noise. Our results suggest a general representational transformation between auditory cortical stages, illustrating a representational consequence of hierarchical organization in the auditory system.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-019-11710-y},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 10,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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