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Open Access Processing of Directional Information in the Gecko Auditory Nerve

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

The extreme directionality of lizard ears is created by strong acoustical coupling of the eardrums, with almost perfect transmission from the contralateral ear [1]. To understand the directional cues generated in the auditory periphery, we recorded responses of single units to free-field sound from speakers radially distributed around the gecko. Fibers are strongly directional at both low (200–400 Hz) and high frequencies (1–2 kHz) with an ovoidal directivity that largely follows eardrum directivity. Unlike the linear response of the eardrum, however, the directionality of the auditory fibers is strongly intensity-dependent because of their limited dynamic range. This creates an interesting trade-off between strong directional cues (generated by steep rate-level functions) and wide dynamic ranges and suggests that additional processing by EI neurons is advantageous. We present a simple model for EI processing based on shuffled nerve recordings and show that it increases the directi onal dynamic range. We also present data from simulated EE processing and coincidence detection.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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