Effect of auditory cortex deactivation on stimulus-specific adaptation in the medial geniculate body.

Auditory Neurophysiology Unit, Laboratory for the Neurobiology of Hearing, Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y León, Calle Pintor Fernando Gallego, 1, Spain.
Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 6.91). 11/2011; 31(47):17306-16. DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1915-11.2011
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An animal's survival may depend on detecting new events or objects in its environment, and it is likely that the brain has evolved specific mechanisms to detect such changes. In sensory systems, neurons often exhibit stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) whereby they adapt to frequently occurring stimuli, but resume firing when "surprised" by rare or new ones. In the auditory system, SSA has been identified in the midbrain, thalamus, and auditory cortex (AC). It has been proposed that the SSA observed subcortically originates in the AC as a higher-order property that is transmitted to the subcortical nuclei via corticofugal pathways. Here we report that SSA in the auditory thalamus of the rat remains intact when the AC is deactivated by cooling, thus demonstrating that the AC is not necessary for the generation of SSA in the thalamus. The AC does, however, modulate the responses of thalamic neurons in a way that strongly indicates a gain modulation mechanism. The changes imposed by the AC in thalamic neurons depend on the level of SSA that they exhibit.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Rapid detection of deviant sounds is a crucial property of the auditory system because it increases the saliency of biologically important, unexpected sounds. The oddball paradigm in which a deviant sound is randomly interspersed among a train of standard sounds has been traditionally used to study this property in mammals. Currently, most human studies have only revealed the involvement of cortical regions in this property. Recently, several animal electrophysiological studies have reported that neurons in the inferior colliculus (IC) exhibit reduced responses to a standard sound but restore their responses at the occurrence of a deviant sound (i.e., stimulus-specific adaptation or SSA), suggesting that the IC may also be involved in deviance detection. However, by adopting an invasive method, these animal studies examined only a limited number of neurons. Although SSA appears to be more prominent in the external cortical nuclei of the IC for frequency deviant, a thorough investigation of this property throughout the IC using other deviants and efficient imaging techniques may provide more comprehensive information on this important phenomenon. In this study, blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI with a large field of view was applied to investigate the role of the IC in deviance detection. Two sound tokens that had identical frequency spectrum but temporally inverted profiles were used as the deviant and standard. A control experiment showed that these two sounds evoked the same responses in the IC when they were separately presented. Two oddball experiments showed that the deviant induced higher responses than the standard (by 0.41±0.09% and 0.41±0.10%, respectively). The most activated voxels were in the medial side of the IC in both oddball experiments. The results clearly demonstrated that the IC is involved in deviance detection. BOLD fMRI detection of increased activities in the medial side of the IC to the deviant revealed the highly adaptive nature of a substantial population of neurons in this region, probably those that belong to the rostral or dorsal cortex of the IC. These findings highlighted the complexity of auditory information processing in the IC and may guide future studies of the functional organizations of this subcortical structure.
    NeuroImage 01/2014; · 6.25 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this account, we attempt to integrate two parallel, but thus far, separate lines of research on auditory novelty detection: (1) human studies of EEG recordings of the mismatch negativity (MMN), and (2) animal studies of single-neuron recordings of stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). The studies demonstrating the existence of novelty neurons showing SSA at different levels along the auditory pathway's hierarchy, together with the recent results showing human auditory-evoked potential correlates of deviance detection at very short latencies, that is, at 20-40 ms from change onset, support the view that novelty detection is a key principle that governs the functional organization of the auditory system. Furthermore, the generation of the MMN recorded from the human scalp seems to involve a cascade of neuronal processing that occurs at different successive levels of the auditory system's hierarchy.
    Psychophysiology 02/2014; 51(2):111-23. · 3.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The early stages of the auditory system need to preserve the timing information of sounds in order to extract the basic features of acoustic stimuli. At the same time, different processes of neuronal adaptation occur at several levels to further process the auditory information. For instance, auditory nerve fiber responses already experience adaptation of their firing rates, a type of response that can be found in many other auditory nuclei and may be useful for emphasizing the onset of the stimuli. However, it is at higher levels in the auditory hierarchy where more sophisticated types of neuronal processing take place. For example, stimulus-specific adaptation, where neurons show adaptation to frequent, repetitive stimuli, but maintain their responsiveness to stimuli with different physical characteristics, thus representing a distinct kind of processing that may play a role in change and deviance detection. In the auditory cortex, adaptation takes more elaborate forms, and contributes to the processing of complex sequences, auditory scene analysis and attention. Here we review the multiple types of adaptation that occur in the auditory system, which are part of the pool of resources that the neurons employ to process the auditory scene, and are critical to a proper understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that govern auditory perception.
    Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:19.


Available from
Jun 4, 2014