Christine V. Portfors

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We examined response properties of delay-tuned neurons in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICC) of the mustached bat. In the mustached bat, delay-tuned neurons respond best to the combination of the first-harmonic, frequency-modulated (FM1) sweep in the emitted pulse and a higher harmonic frequency-modulated (FM2, FM3 or FM4) component in(More)
Many laboratory rodents emit ultrasonic vocalizations. The purpose of this review is to highlight the types and functions of ultrasonic vocalizations emitted by laboratory rats and mice. Rats emit 3 types of ultrasonic vocalizations, depending on the animal's age, its environmental conditions, and its affective state. Rat pups emit a 40-kHz vocalization(More)
Social vocalizations are particularly important stimuli in an animal's auditory environment. Because of their importance, vocalizations should be strongly represented in auditory pathways. Mice commonly emit ultrasonic vocalizations with spectral content between 45 and 100 kHz. However, there is limited representation of these ultra-high frequencies(More)
Neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) of the mustached bat integrate input from multiple frequency bands in a complex fashion. These neurons are important for encoding the bat's echolocation and social vocalizations. The purpose of this study was to quantify the contribution of complex frequency interactions on the responses of IC neurons to social(More)
Weber fractions for discriminating the speed and displacement of a cyclopean target moving in depth ranged, respectively, from .07-.17 and .06-.13 over 6 observers. Corresponding data for a noncyclopean target were .07-.20 and .06-.12. For motion parallel to the frontal plane, corresponding data were .09-.20 .06-.16, and .05-.13. All Weber fractions were(More)
An important question in sensory neuroscience is what coding strategies and mechanisms are used by the brain to detect and discriminate among behaviorally relevant stimuli. There is evidence that sensory systems migrate from a distributed and redundant encoding strategy at the periphery to a more heterogeneous encoding in cortical structures. It has been(More)
Combination-sensitive neurons integrate specific spectral and temporal elements in biologically important sounds, and they may underlie the analysis of biosonar and social vocalizations. Combination-sensitive neurons are found in the forebrain of a variety of vertebrates. In the mustached bat, they also occur in the central nucleus of the inferior(More)
Efficient encoding of sensory information can be implemented by heterogeneous response properties of neurons within sensory pathways. In the auditory system, neurons in the main auditory midbrain nucleus, the inferior colliculus (IC), show heterogeneous response properties to various types of acoustic stimuli including behaviorally relevant sounds. The(More)
Auditory experience during development is necessary for normal language acquisition in humans. Although songbirds, some cetaceans, and maybe bats may also be vocal learners, vocal learning has yet to be well established for a laboratory mammal. Mice are potentially an excellent model organism for studying mechanisms underlying vocal communication. Mice(More)
Perception of complex sounds such as speech is affected by a variety of factors, including attention, expectation of reward, physiological state, and/or disorders, yet the mechanisms underlying this modulation are not well understood. Although dopamine is commonly studied for its role in reward-based learning and in disorders, multiple lines of evidence(More)