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Re: Pitch orientation-discriminating feature detectors?

The oldest work, based on my recollection, is likely to be
Whitfield, I. C. a. E., E.F. (1965). Responses of auditory cortical neurones to stimuli of changing frequency. Journal of Neurophysiology, 28, 655-672.
who I think were the first to report FM sensitivity in auditory neurons.

More complex cells with direction selectivity across several tones have also been reported by Weinberger in several papers (sorry, I don't have the references handy)

Behaviorally, Peretz describes one person with congenital amusia who has a much higher threshold for descending than for ascending musical intervals
Peretz, I., Ayotte, J., Zatorre, R.J., Mehler, J., Ahad, P., Penhune, V.B., and Jutras, B. (2002) Congenital amusia: A disorder of fine-grained pitch discrimination. Neuron, 33, 185-191.
and finally, in our own lab, we've documented that certain specific auditory cortex lesions lead to an increased threshold for determining the direction of pitch change, but not for making a same/different judgment.
Johnsrude, I.J., Penhune, V.B., and Zatorre, R.J. (2000) Functional specificity in right human auditory cortex for perceiving pitch direction. Brain, 123, 155-163.

all of which would tend to suggest that pitch directionality is relevant, to say the least.

At 23:00 16/09/02 -0400, you wrote:
Dear list,

Do we happen to know of anything indicating the existence of
pitch-orientation selective cells in any species, eg cell-assemblies
responding specifically to, say, upward moving pitch, rather than
downward movement?

A further question: do we happen to know whether pitch difference
sensitivity responds to orientation of movement?

Many thanks for any pointers.

-- eliot

Eliot Handelman PhD
Montreal, Canada

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Robert J. Zatorre, Ph.D.
Montreal Neurological Institute
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