Role of the Mammalian Forebrain in Hearing

  • R. Bruce Masterton


The study of the role of auditory cortex in hearing by ablation-behavior methods is now over a century old (James, 1896). At first, the question of assessing cortical function seemed easily answerable. Animals surgically deprived of auditory cortex acted as if they were deaf—not responding to very loud and unexpected sounds (Ferrier, 1876). But after several repetitions of this experiment yielded variable results, a more careful and systematic ablation-behavior inquiry into auditory cortex began. This inquiry proceeded hesitantly while several sources of acoustic, surgical, and behavioral artifact were eliminated from the experimental procedures one at a time (e.g., Kryter and Ades, 1943). However, by the 1950’s, the labs of Neff and of Ades had invented behavioral and acoustical presentation methods, and experimental surgery techniques with histological verification that have had to change little in ensuing years (e.g., Neff, 1968; Ades, 1959). Interesting and often surprising results soon followed.


Sound Source Auditory Cortex Inferior Colliculus Cortical Lesion Sound Localization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Bruce Masterton
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in NeuroscienceFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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