The biological importance of the auditory system of vertebrates
lies in its ability to provide animals with information about where
sounds arise and what they mean. The auditory system can alert
animals to the presence of danger or prey and, in many animals,
serves as a basis for communication. This volume summarizes how the
electrical signals used to represent sounds are encoded and
interpreted through the integrated roles of various nuclei. It
builds on the information about the anatomy and physiology of the
auditory pathway found in volumes 1 and 2 of the Springer Handbook
of Auditory Research. While the first two volumes describe the
structure and function of auditory pathways, this volume will
explain how these pathways lead to an animal's ability to localize
and interpret sounds. The authors discuss how a variety of species
recognize the location of sources and complex features of sound,
thus contributing to the ongoing research toward an understanding
of the general functional strategies of mammalian auditory systems.
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