Tonotopic organisation of the human auditory cortex

All throughout the auditory system, from the arrangement of hair cells on the basilar membrane, to the auditory cortex in the brain, there’s one one things that stays relatively constant – neurons are generally arranged ‘tonotopically’. That is, they are laid out in whatever structure (the cochlea, the nuclei in the brainstem, the cortex) according to to their response to different frequencies.  This has been studied often in the auditory systems of many different types of animals and humans, mostly using tiny electrodes inserted into the relevant structure. Nice colour-coded maps of frequency response in different areas generally come out of these studies. This one, however, has used fMRI, and has the best pictures yet!


Humphries, C., Liebenthal, E., & Binder, J. (2010). Tonotopic organization of human auditory cortex NeuroImage (uncorrected proof)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.01.046

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