Wiener kernel analysis of responses from anteroventral cochlear nucleus neurons

Robert E. Wickesberg, John W. Dickson, Mary Morton Gibson, C. Daniel Geisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Responses to pseudo-random Gaussian white noise, tones and clicks were recorded from neurons in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) of barbiturate anesthetized cats. The responses to white noise were used to calculate estimates of the zero-, first- and second-order Wiener kernels for these neurons. The Wiener kernels did contain useful information on the fundamental, DC and second harmonic components of the responses of AVCN neurons to tones, clicks and noise. However, they generally did not provide predictions of the difference tone distortion products found in the peripheral auditory system. Overall, the addition of the second kernel improved a prediction based on the zero- and first-order kernels, but not by very much. If the estimates of the Wiener kernels were not very good, then a second-order prediction could be worse than a first-order one. To produce good estimates of the Wiener kernels, many repetitions of very long Gaussian white noise stimuli are necessary. Therefore the technique does not permit rapid data collection. Further, exposure to long duration high intensity noise can result in acoustic trauma. This damage affects the mechanism that generates the difference tone distortion products, and it can also affect the tuning of the auditory neurons. Thus Wiener's nonlinear system identification theory has only limited usefulness in the analysis of the peripheral auditory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-174
Number of pages20
JournalHearing Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1984
Externally publishedYes


  • AVCN
  • Wiener kernels
  • difference tones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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