9.04 | Fall 2013 | Undergraduate
Sensory Systems

Assignments

There are two written reports for this course. Each report constitutes 10% of the final grade.

Written report - Visual system

(There will be a penalty for late assignments.)
You are to read the Oyster & Barlow (1967) paper listed and to write a report describing the essence of the paper. You must also do a bit of research and write about what has happened in the field since the paper was published.

Oyster, C. W., and H. B. Barlow. “Direction-Selective Units in Rabbit Retina: Distribution of Preferred Directions.” Science 155, no. 3764 (1967): 841–2.

Written report - Auditory system

(There will be a penalty for late assignments.)
A neural circuit for localization of sounds based on interaural time differences (ITDs) was first postulated by Jeffress. In a paragraph, describe this circuit and draw a sketch of the circuit. The original model postulated “delay lines” to make up for the time delays—in your description, state how these delay lines were postulated to function in creating ITD sensitivity. State two other neural mechanisms (not originally postulated by Jeffress) that could create delays.

Recently, the Jeffress model has been questioned by several experimental studies. Please outline the several types of evidence that don’t fit with the original Jeffress model. Support your answer by the use of material from our course or perhaps other scientific sources (but don’t use non-scientific sources such as the Sunday New York Times).

Finally, what problem would bilateral cochlear implant users have if they used the Jeffress model to localize sounds?

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