Title

Properties of a leading sound can change our perception to a trailing sound

Submitter and Co-author information

Sarah Tran, University of WindsorFollow

Standing

Graduate (Masters)

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Open Challenge

Your Location

University of Windsor

Faculty

Faculty of Science

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Huiming Zhang

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Our perception of a sound can be affected by another sound in the natural acoustic environment. To understand this phenomenon, we studied the sound-driven neural activities present in the auditory midbrain. The auditory midbrain is a major central auditory processing center that receives inputs from both ears. Most of these neurons within the midbrain are excited by stimulations to the opposite-side ear, and inhibited by stimulations to the same-side ear. This neurophysiological characteristic is essential for the processing of directional information carried by the sounds. The goals of the project were to determine how a leading sound affects the neural responses in the auditory midbrain to a trailing sound, and whether the effect was dependent on the spatial-temporal relationship between the two sounds, as it has not yet been systematically characterized in literature. The experiment presented the trailing sound fixed at the opposite-side ear. The leading tone preceded the trailing tone at various time intervals and was presented at different angles within the horizontal plane. We found that the spatial-temporal relationships between the two sounds affected the responses to the trailing sound. Specifically, both spatial and temporal separation led to a less suppressed trailing tone response, especially neurons with onset and transient firing patterns. The project is important for understanding hearing mechanisms in a real-world situation, which includes sounds of different timings and locations. Results can be used by other researchers to further develop hearing devices, based on how properties of a sound affect another.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Properties of a leading sound can change our perception to a trailing sound

Our perception of a sound can be affected by another sound in the natural acoustic environment. To understand this phenomenon, we studied the sound-driven neural activities present in the auditory midbrain. The auditory midbrain is a major central auditory processing center that receives inputs from both ears. Most of these neurons within the midbrain are excited by stimulations to the opposite-side ear, and inhibited by stimulations to the same-side ear. This neurophysiological characteristic is essential for the processing of directional information carried by the sounds. The goals of the project were to determine how a leading sound affects the neural responses in the auditory midbrain to a trailing sound, and whether the effect was dependent on the spatial-temporal relationship between the two sounds, as it has not yet been systematically characterized in literature. The experiment presented the trailing sound fixed at the opposite-side ear. The leading tone preceded the trailing tone at various time intervals and was presented at different angles within the horizontal plane. We found that the spatial-temporal relationships between the two sounds affected the responses to the trailing sound. Specifically, both spatial and temporal separation led to a less suppressed trailing tone response, especially neurons with onset and transient firing patterns. The project is important for understanding hearing mechanisms in a real-world situation, which includes sounds of different timings and locations. Results can be used by other researchers to further develop hearing devices, based on how properties of a sound affect another.