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Binaural summation of amplitude modulation involves weak interaural suppression

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posted on 2023-05-03, 14:51 authored by DH Baker, G Vilidaite, E McClarnon, E Valkova, A Bruno, RE Millman

The brain combines sounds from the two ears, but what is the algorithm used to achieve this summation of signals? Here we combine psychophysical amplitude modulation discrimination and steady-state electroencephalography (EEG) data to investigate the architecture of binaural combination for amplitude-modulated tones. Discrimination thresholds followed a ‘dipper’ shaped function of pedestal modulation depth, and were consistently lower for binaural than monaural presentation of modulated tones. The EEG responses were greater for binaural than monaural presentation of modulated tones, and when a masker was presented to one ear, it produced only weak suppression of the response to a signal presented to the other ear. Both data sets were well-fit by a computational model originally derived for visual signal combination, but with suppression between the two channels (ears) being much weaker than in binocular vision. We suggest that the distinct ecological constraints on vision and hearing can explain this difference, if it is assumed that the brain avoids over-representing sensory signals originating from a single object. These findings position our understanding of binaural summation in a broader context of work on sensory signal combination in the brain, and delineate the similarities and differences between vision and hearing.

Funding

Royal Society (grant number RG130121)

Temporal Aspects of Gaze Perception in Autism

Wellcome Trust

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History

Author affiliation

School of Psychology and Vision Science, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Scientific Reports

Volume

10

Issue

1

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

eissn

2045-2322

Copyright date

2020

Available date

2023-05-03

Language

en

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