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Burg bei Magdeburg, Germany

Ohl F.W.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology
Current Opinion in Neurobiology | Year: 2014

Rhythmic activity appears in the auditory cortex in both microscopic and macroscopic observables and is modulated by both bottom-up and top-down processes. How this activity serves both types of processes is largely unknown. Here we review studies that have recently improved our understanding of potential functional roles of large-scale global dynamic activity patterns in auditory cortex. The experimental paradigm of auditory category learning allowed critical testing of the hypothesis that global auditory cortical activity states are associated with endogenous cognitive states mediating the meaning associated with an acoustic stimulus rather than with activity states that merely represent the stimulus for further processing. © 2014.

Heine M.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2012

The precision of signal transmission in chemical synapses is highly dependent on the structural alignment between pre- and postsynaptic components. The thermal agitation of transmembrane signaling molecules by surrounding lipid molecules and activity-driven changes in the local protein interaction affinities indicate a dynamic molecular traffic of molecules within synapses. The observation of local protein surface dynamics starts to be a useful tool to determine the contribution of intracellular and extracellular structures in organizing a plastic synapse. Local rearrangements by lateral diffusion in the synaptic and perisynaptic membrane induce fast density changes of signaling molecules and enable the synapse to change efficacy in short time scales. The degree of lateral mobility is restricted by many passive and active interactions inside and outside the membrane. AMPAR at the glutamatergic synapse are the best explored receptors in this respect and reviewed here as an example molecule. In addition, transsynaptic adhesion molecule complexes also appear highly dynamically in the synapse and do further support the importance of local surface traffic in subcellular compartments like synapses. © 2012 Springer-Verlag/WIen.

Heil P.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology | Heil P.,Center for Behavioral Brain science
JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology | Year: 2014

Absolute auditory threshold decreases with increasing sound duration, a phenomenon explainable by the assumptions that the sound evokes neural events whose probabilities of occurrence are proportional to the sound's amplitude raised to an exponent of about 3 and that a constant number of events are required for threshold (Heil and Neubauer, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100:6151-6156, 2003). Based on this probabilistic model and on the assumption of perfect binaural summation, an equation is derived here that provides an explicit expression of the binaural threshold as a function of the two monaural thresholds, irrespective of whether they are equal or unequal, and of the exponent in the model. For exponents >0, the predicted binaural advantage is largest when the two monaural thresholds are equal and decreases towards zero as the monaural threshold difference increases. This equation is tested and the exponent derived by comparing binaural thresholds with those predicted on the basis of the two monaural thresholds for different values of the exponent. The thresholds, measured in a large sample of human subjects with equal and unequal monaural thresholds and for stimuli with different temporal envelopes, are compatible only with an exponent close to 3. An exponent of 3 predicts a binaural advantage of 2 dB when the two ears are equally sensitive. Thus, listening with two (equally sensitive) ears rather than one has the same effect on absolute threshold as doubling duration. The data suggest that perfect binaural summation occurs at threshold and that peripheral neural signals are governed by an exponent close to 3. They might also shed new light on mechanisms underlying binaural summation of loudness. © 2013 Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

Ahmadi M.,University of Leicester | Quian Quiroga R.,University of Leicester | Quian Quiroga R.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology
NeuroImage | Year: 2013

We present an automatic denoising method based on the wavelet transform to obtain single trial evoked potentials. The method is based on the inter- and intra-scale variability of the wavelet coefficients and their deviations from baseline values. The performance of the method is tested with simulated event related potentials (ERPs) and with real visual and auditory ERPs. For the simulated data the presented method gives a significant improvement in the observation of single trial ERPs as well as in the estimation of their amplitudes and latencies, in comparison with a standard denoising technique (Donoho's thresholding) and in comparison with the noisy single trials. For the real data, the proposed method largely filters the spontaneous EEG activity, thus helping the identification of single trial visual and auditory ERPs. The proposed method provides a simple, automatic and fast tool that allows the study of single trial responses and their correlations with behavior. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Tacikowski P.,Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology | Brechmann A.,Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology | Nowicka A.,Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2013

Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that the patterns of brain activity during the processing of personally relevant names (e.g., own name, friend's name, partner's name, etc.) and the names of famous people (e.g., celebrities) are different. However, it is not known how the activity in this network is influenced by the modality of the presented stimuli. In this fMRI study, we investigated the pattern of brain activations during the recognition of aurally and visually presented full names of the subject, a significant other, a famous person and unknown individuals. In both modalities, we found that the processing of self-name and the significant other's name was associated with increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC). Acoustic presentations of these names also activated bilateral inferior frontal gyri (IFG). This pattern of results supports the role of MPFC in the processing of personally relevant information, irrespective of their modality. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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