Prediction of linear and non-linear responses of MGB neurons by system identification methods

Y. Yeshurun*, Z. Wollberg, N. Dyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In sensory physiology, various System Identification methods are implemented to formalized stimulus-response relationships. We applied the Volterra approach for characterizing input-output relationships of cells in the medial geniculate body (MGB) of an awake squirrel monkey. Intraspecific communication calls comprised the inputs and the corresponding cellular evoked responses-the outputs. A set of vocalization was used to calculate the kernels of the transformation, and these kernels subserved to predict the responses of the cell to a different set of vocalizations. It was found that it is possible to predict the response (PSTH) of MGB cells to natural vocalizations, based on envelopes of the spectral components of the vocalization. Some of the responses could be predicted by assuming a linear transformation function, whereas other responses could be predicted by non-linear (second order) kernels. These two modes of transformation, which are also reflected by a distinct spatial distribution of the linear vis-à-vis non-linear responding cells, apparently representa new revelation of parallel processing of auditory information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of Mathematical Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1989


FundersFunder number
Israeli Centre for Psychobiology
Charles E. Kaufman Foundation


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