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Effects Of Unilateral Ablation Of Auditory Cortex On Monaural Cat's Ability To Localize Sound

W. D. Neff, J. H. Casseday

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1. Cats with one cochlea destroyed were trained to localize sound. After behavioral measures of the animal's accuracy of localization were made, cortical auditory areas were ablated unilaterally. 2. The results showed: a) like binaural localization, monaural localization of sound in space, as measured by the ability of an animal to move toward a sound source, depends on integrity of auditory cortex; b) it is only ablation of cortex contralateral to the functional ear that seriously affects localizing behavior; ablation of cortex ipsilateral to the intact cochlea has little or no effect on localizing behavior. 3. To explain the results, we suggest that auditory cortex is essential for an organized perception of space including the relation of the animal's position to other objects in space. We also suggest that auditory cortex contralateral to a given ear is necessary in order for the animal to recognize that a stimulus is presented to that ear of, when both ears are intact, to recognize that the stimulus to the given ear differs in some way (intensity, time of arrival, sequential arrangement of sounds) from the stimulus to the opposite ear.