Neuronal responses in auditory cortex show a fascinating mixture of characteristics that span the range from almost perfect copies of physical aspects of the stimuli to extremely complex context-dependent responses. Fast, highly stimulus-specific adaptation and slower plastic mechanisms work together to constantly adjust neuronal response properties to the statistics of the auditory scene. Evidence with converging implications suggests that the neuronal activity in primary auditory cortex represents sounds in terms of auditory objects rather than in terms of invariant acoustic features.
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Supported by grants from the Israeli Science Foundation (ISF), the German-Israeli Foundation (GIF) and the Volkswagenstiftung.