A Probabilistic Model of Auditory Space Representation in the Barn Owl

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Brian Fischer, Charles Anderson


The barn owl is a nocturnal hunter, capable of capturing prey using au- ditory information alone [1]. The neural basis for this localization be- havior is the existence of auditory neurons with spatial receptive fields [2]. We provide a mathematical description of the operations performed on auditory input signals by the barn owl that facilitate the creation of a representation of auditory space. To develop our model, we first formu- late the sound localization problem solved by the barn owl as a statistical estimation problem. The implementation of the solution is constrained by the known neurobiology.