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Open Access Evidence for a Neuronal Network Model of the Cochlear Nucleus and Its Implication for Coding Strategies in Auditory Prostheses

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A simulation study is presented that shows that the ability of humans to distinguish changes in pitch can be explained as a correlation analysis of temporal information in auditory signals. The correlation analysis is performed by a neuronal network in the auditory system located in the cochlear nucleus and the inferior colliculus. Parts of this network are chopper neurons in the brain stem. The connections between the chopper neurons construct neural oscillators that can discharge spikes at constant intervals, which are integer multiples of 0.4 ms, contributing to the temporal processing of auditory cochlear output. These constant intervals are found in measurements in different species and may be attributed to the smallest synaptic delay between interconnected chopper neurons. The neuronal network is triggered by the input of onset neurons. Broadband spectral input of onset neurons and of narrowband spectral input of single auditory nerve fibers are integrated and utilized in the network. The topology of the network is the basis for new concepts of coding strategies in auditory prosthesis. The new concepts are patented and aim at various parameters for the electrical stimulation such as pulse shapes, pulse polarity, pulse amplitude sequences, and pulse train rates, e.g. the timing of pulses for apical electrodes to synchronize with periods of 0.4 ms.

© 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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