Responses to broadband Gaussian white noise were recorded in auditory-nerve fibers of deeply anesthetized chinchillas and analyzed by computation of zeroth-, first-, and second-order Wiener kernels. The first-order kernels (similar to reverse correlations or "revcors") of fibers with characteristic frequency (CF) <2 kHz consisted of lightly damped transient oscillations with frequency equal to CF. Because of the decay of phase locking strength as a function of frequency, the signal-to-noise ratio of first-order kernels of fibers with CFs >2 kHz decreased with increasing CF at a rate of about -18 dB per octave. However, residual first-order kernels could be detected in fibers with CF as high as 12 kHz. Second-order kernels, 2-dimensional matrices, reveal prominent periodicity at the CF frequency, regardless of CF. Thus onset delays, frequency glides, and near-CF group delays could be estimated for auditory-nerve fibers innervating the entire length of the chinchilla cochlea.
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