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Paper: PS-1A.39
Session: Poster Session 1A
Location: H Lichthof
Session Time: Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation Time:Saturday, September 14, 16:30 - 19:30
Presentation: Poster
Publication: 2019 Conference on Cognitive Computational Neuroscience, 13-16 September 2019, Berlin, Germany
Paper Title: fMRI encoding and decoding of natural sounds in the aged human auditory cortex
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
License: Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Authors: Julia Erb, Lea-Maria Schmitt, Jonas Obleser, Universität zu Lübeck, Germany
Abstract: Current models of auditory cortical processing describe the neural response to natural sounds as a function of complex acoustic features. Here, we ask whether and how cortical responses to those acoustic features change over the life span. We acquired 3T-fMRI data while young and older adults listened to a story presented against a competing stream of resynthesized natural sounds. We modelled the fMRI responses in auditory cortex as a function of the spectro-temporal modulations contained in the sound mixture, and derived single- and multi-voxel modulation transfer functions (MTFs; fMRI encoding and decoding). We found that topographical best feature maps were preserved in the aged auditory cortex: Tonotopic maps showed the typical mirror-symmetric frequency gradients along Heschl’s gyrus in both age groups. Decoding yielded highest accuracies at low frequencies of 230–580 Hz, coarse scales of 0.25 cyc/oct, and slow rates of 4–8 Hz, irrespective of age. However, we observed age differences in tuning to temporal rate, with signatures of broadened rate tuning in older participants. These results indicate that the specificity of temporal representation declines in the aged auditory cortex.