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Neural and behavioral investigations into timbre perception.

Town, SM; Bizley, JK; (2013) Neural and behavioral investigations into timbre perception. Front Syst Neurosci , 7 , Article 88. 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00088. Green open access

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Abstract

Timbre is the attribute that distinguishes sounds of equal pitch, loudness and duration. It contributes to our perception and discrimination of different vowels and consonants in speech, instruments in music and environmental sounds. Here we begin by reviewing human timbre perception and the spectral and temporal acoustic features that give rise to timbre in speech, musical and environmental sounds. We also consider the perception of timbre by animals, both in the case of human vowels and non-human vocalizations. We then explore the neural representation of timbre, first within the peripheral auditory system and later at the level of the auditory cortex. We examine the neural networks that are implicated in timbre perception and the computations that may be performed in auditory cortex to enable listeners to extract information about timbre. We consider whether single neurons in auditory cortex are capable of representing spectral timbre independently of changes in other perceptual attributes and the mechanisms that may shape neural sensitivity to timbre. Finally, we conclude by outlining some of the questions that remain about the role of neural mechanisms in behavior and consider some potentially fruitful avenues for future research.

Type: Article
Title: Neural and behavioral investigations into timbre perception.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00088
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2013.00088
Additional information: © 2013 Town and Bizley. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms. PMCID: PMC3826062
Keywords: auditory cortex, ferret, neural coding, speech, vowels
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1423167
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