Development of the place principle: tonotopic organization

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Science  04 Feb 1983:
Vol. 219, Issue 4584, pp. 514-516
DOI: 10.1126/science.6823550


The tonotopic organization of brainstem auditory nuclei was compared in embryonic and hatchling chickens. In embryos, neurons at any given position in these nuclei were maximally sensitive to lower frequency sounds than the best frequency after hatching. This finding indicates that neurons are maximally stimulated by sounds of different frequencies as development proceeds and supports the hypothesis that during development there is a change in the spatial encoding of frequency along the cochlea.