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spectral and temporal neurons

Dear List,
does anyone have an opinion on what influence the spectral/temporal
tradeoff that applies to linear acoustic filters could have on the
neuronal organization of the central auditory system?

That is, we know that for a linear system, there is necessarily a
reciprocal relation between bandwidth and temporal resolution. What we're
wondering is whether this would impose limits on the response properties of
cortical auditory neurons, which form part of a distributed and nonlinear
system. In other words, can neurons have independent spectral/temporal
response features, or might the tradeoff function impose at least an upper
limit on how sharply tuned they could be across the two domains?

If anybody knows of any data pertinent to this question, we would be
especially interested.

In order to avoid congestion of e-mail traffic due to enthusiastic
discussions that arise from some questions posted to the list, please
respond directly to us at:

We will post later a summary of the responses obtained.

Thank you for your interest,
Robert Zatorre and Pascal Belin

Robert J. Zatorre, Ph.D.
Montreal Neurological Institute
3801 University St.
Montreal, QC Canada H3A 2B4
phone: 1-514-398-8903
fax: 1-514-398-1338
e-mail: md37@musica.mcgill.ca
web site: www.zlab.mcgill.ca