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Harmonic Organization of Primate Auditory Cortex

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A fundamental structure of sounds encountered in the natural environment is the harmonicity. Harmonicity is an essential component of music found in all cultures. It is also a unique feature of vocal communication sounds such as human speech and animal vocalizations.

Harmonics are produced by a variety of acoustic generators and reflectors in natural environments, including vocal apparatuses of humans and animal species as well as music instruments of many types. Given the widespread existence of the harmonicity in many aspects of our hearing environment, it is natural to expect that it be reflected in the evolution and development of the auditory systems of both humans and animals, in particular the auditory cortex. Recent neuroimaging and neurophysiology experiments have identified regions of non-primary auditory cortex in humans and non-human primates that exhibit selective responses to harmonic pitches. Accumulating evidence has also shown that neurons in many regions of the mammalian auditory cortex exhibit characteristic responses to harmonically related frequencies beyond the range of pitch. Taken together, these findings suggest that a fundamental organizational principle of the primate auditory cortex is based on harmonicity. Such an organization can play an important role in speech and music processing by the brain. It may also form the basis of the preference for particular classes of music and voice sounds.


Xiaoqin Wang (Johns Hopkins University)

Journey Description


E - Main Entrance/Reception
1 - Managing Board; sections: Infection Biology Unit, Unit of Infection Models, Laboratory Animal Science Unit, Primate Genetics Laboratory, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, Neurobiology Laboratory, Research Coordination, Public Relations, Information Technology, Administration, Technical Support, Library.
2 - Material Delivery/Purchase
3 - Platform Degenerative Diseases
4 - Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
5 - Animal Husbandry
6 - Imaging Center, Functional Imaging Laboratory

Arrival by car

Leave the interstate A7 at exit "Göttingen Nord". Follow the B27 straight ahead in the direction of "Braunlage". After the third traffic light intersection turn right towards "Kliniken". Afterwards turn left onto "Robert-Koch-Straße" direction "Universität Nordbereich/Polizei". At the end of "Robert-Koch-Straße" turn right onto "Otto-Hahn-Straße", direction "Nikolausberg". The first street on the left turn onto "Kellnerweg", follow the signs "Deutsches Primatenzentrum".

Arrival by bus

The footpath from the bus stop "Kellnerweg" to the Main Entrance/Reception: 
From Bus stop "Kellnerweg" (line 21/22 and 23) Cross the road, go in the direction of the bus. At the mailbox, turn left into the footpath and proceed to the end. Turn right into the Kellnerweg. The main entrance of the DPZ is on the left side.

Date and Time 05.12.23 - 11:00 - 12:30 Signup is not required

Location Michael-Lankeit-Hörsaal, DPZ



Contact Dr. Christian Schloegl
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