Research Topic

The functional organization of the auditory system.

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Analogous to the retinotopic organization of the primary visual system, the primary auditory cortex is organized tonotopicaly, but unlike the visual system, auditory information is highly processed by multiple subcortical nuclei before it reaches the cerebral cortex. In both systems, the cerebral cortex is ...

Analogous to the retinotopic organization of the primary visual system, the primary auditory cortex is organized tonotopicaly, but unlike the visual system, auditory information is highly processed by multiple subcortical nuclei before it reaches the cerebral cortex. In both systems, the cerebral cortex is mainly considered to underlie perception and attention, stimulus and conspecific identification, spatial localization, and storage in memory, amongst other higher order cognitive functions. One of the editors of this Research Topic put forward the hypothesis that anatomical pathways for auditory memory are different from their visual counterpart (Muñoz et a., 2010). Beyond memory, other higher cognitive functions are likely to differ between vision and audition. It is critical to elucidate the functional significance of the wealth of anatomical cortico-cortical and cortical-subcortical feedback pathways characteristic of the auditory system. This key aim of this Research Topic is to understand better the functional organization of the auditory system from and beyond perception. Our goal is to gather together reviews and original articles with new ideas or findings ranging from studies in anatomy, physiology and behaviour to fMRI etc., and from rodents to humans. With this Research Topic, we also aspire to fill in the gap between the research conducted on subcortical structures with studies more focused in the cerebral cortex - including sensory specific auditory cortex, but also frontal, temporal cortex and association thalamic nuclei. Researchers involved in any of these areas are encouraged to contribute and so help to shed light on the functional organization of the auditory system from a systems level point of view. It is our hope that this Research Topic will bring neuroscientists a better understanding of the anatomical and functional organization of the auditory system.


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