Population receptive field estimates of human auditory cortex

Jessica M. Thomas, Elizabeth Huber, G. Christopher Stecker, Geoffrey M. Boynton, Melissa Saenz, Ione Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Here we describe a method for measuring tonotopic maps and estimating bandwidth for voxels in human primary auditory cortex (PAC) using a modification of the population Receptive Field (pRF) model, developed for retinotopic mapping in visual cortex by Dumoulin and Wandell (2008). The pRF method reliably estimates tonotopic maps in the presence of acoustic scanner noise, and has two advantages over phase-encoding techniques. First, the stimulus design is flexible and need not be a frequency progression, thereby reducing biases due to habituation, expectation, and estimation artifacts, as well as reducing the effects of spatio-temporal BOLD nonlinearities. Second, the pRF method can provide estimates of bandwidth as a function of frequency. We find that bandwidth estimates are narrower for voxels within the PAC than in surrounding auditory responsive regions (non-PAC).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-439
Number of pages12
StatePublished - Jan 5 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Auditory cortex
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Population receptive field (pRF)
  • Tonotopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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