Heller Lecture Series - Mar. 20th 2007

Heller Lecture Series in Computational Neuroscience


Prof. Eric Knudsen

Department of Neurobiology, Stanford University


 On the topic of

Mechanisms of learning in the auditory system of the barn owl


Sound localization is a process that is shaped by experience, especially during early life. Young barn owls learn to localize sounds with great accuracy in order to survive. This process involves forming precise associations between values of auditory spatial cues, such as interaural time differences, and locations in space. Experimental manipulations of auditory or visual experience reveal that juvenile owls can learn highly abnormal associations between auditory cue values and locations in space, whereas adult animals do not. I will discuss cellular mechanisms in the central auditory localization pathway that underlie this developmentally regulated, adaptive plasticity and the results of recent attempts to maximize this plasticity in adults.


Edmond J. Safra Campus - Givat Ram