On determinants of first-spike latency in auditory cortex

Peter Heil, Dexter R.F. Irvine

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42 Citations (Scopus)


THE first-spike latency of neurones at any level of the auditory pathway decreases with stimulus amplitude. As stimuli are generally shaped with rise functions to avoid spectral splatter, a common interpretation of the latency decrease is that the amplitude of the signal reaches the neurone's firing threshold earlier during the rise time. We demonstrate here, for auditory cortex neurones and by varying the amplitude and rise time of tonal stimuli, that this threshold model is inadequate to account for the observed latency changes, particularly when adaptive processes are taken into account. The data raise the possibility that latency may be a function of other properties associated with a signal's onset, such as rate of change of peak pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3073-3076
Number of pages4
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Auditory cortex
  • Hearing
  • Latency
  • Spike timing
  • Temporal coding
  • Threshold

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