Robust Spectro-Temporal Reverse Correlation for the Auditory System: Optimizing Stimulus Design
Klein, David J.
Depireux, Didier A.
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The spectro-temporal receptive field (STRF) is a functionaldescriptor of the linear processing of time-varying acoustic spectra by theauditory system. By cross-correlating sustained neuronal activity with the"dynamic spectrum" of a spectro-temporally rich stimulus ensemble, oneobtains an estimate of the STRF. <p>In this paper, the relationship betweenthe spectro-temporal structure of any given stimulus and the quality ofthe STRF estimate is explored and exploited. Invoking the Fouriertheorem, arbitrary dynamic spectra are described as sums of basicsinusoidal components, i.e., "moving ripples." Accurate estimation isfound to be especially reliant on the prominence of components whosespectral and temporal characteristics are of relevance to the auditorylocus under study, and is sensitive to the phase relationships betweencomponents with identical temporal signatures.<p>These and otherobservations have guided the development and use of stimuli withdeterministic dynamic spectra composed of the superposition of many"temporally orthogonal" moving ripples having a restricted, relevant rangeof spectral scales and temporal rates. <p>The method, termed<I>sum-of-ripples,</I> is similar in spirit to the "white-noise approach," butenjoys the same practical advantages--which equate to faster and moreaccurate estimation--attributable to the time-domain sum-of-sinusoidsmethod previously employed in vision research. Application of the methodis exemplified with both modeled data and experimental data from ferretprimary auditory cortex (AI).