Decoding stimulus identity from multi-unit activity and local field potentials along the ventral auditory stream in the awake primate: Implications for cortical neural prostheses

Elliot Smith, Spencer Kellis, Paul House, Bradley Greger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Objective. Hierarchical processing of auditory sensory information is believed to occur in two streams: a ventral stream responsible for stimulus identity and a dorsal stream responsible for processing spatial elements of a stimulus. The objective of the current study is to examine neural coding in this processing stream in the context of understanding the possibility for an auditory cortical neural prosthesis. Approach. We examined the selectivity for species-specific primate vocalizations in the ventral auditory processing stream by applying a statistical classifier to neural data recorded from microelectrode arrays. Multi-unit activity (MUA) and local field potential (LFP) data recorded simultaneously from primary auditory complex (AI) and rostral parabelt (PBr) were decoded on a trial-by-trial basis. Main results. While decode performance in AI was well above chance, mean performance in PBr did not deviate >15% from chance level. Mean performance levels were similar for MUA and LFP decodes. Increasing the spectral and temporal resolution improved decode performance; while inter-electrode spacing could be as large as 1.14 mm without degrading decode performance. Significance. These results serve as preliminary guidance for a human auditory cortical neural prosthesis; instructing interface implementation, microstimulation patterns and anatomical placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016010
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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