Rhythmic auditory cortex activity at multiple time scales shapes stimulus-response gain and background firing

Kayser, C., Wilson, C., Safaai, H., Sakata, S. and Panzeri, S. (2015) Rhythmic auditory cortex activity at multiple time scales shapes stimulus-response gain and background firing. Journal of Neuroscience, 35(20), pp. 7750-7762. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0268-15.2015) (PMID:25995464) (PMCID:PMC4438125)

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The phase of low‐frequency network activity in auditory cortex captures changes in neural excitability, entrains to the temporal structure of natural sounds and correlates with the perceptual performance in acoustic tasks. While these observations suggest a causal link between network rhythms and perception, it remains unknown how precisely they affect the processes by which neural populations encode sounds. We addressed this question by analysing neural responses in the auditory cortex of anesthetized rats using stimulus‐response models. These models included a parametric dependence on the phase of local field potential rhythms in both stimulus‐unrelated background activity and the stimulus‐response transfer function. We found that phase‐dependent models better reproduced the observed responses than static models, both during stimulation with a series of natural sounds and during epochs of silence. This was due to two factors: phase‐dependent variations in background firing (most prominent for delta; 1‐4Hz) and modulations of response gain that rhythmically amplify and attenuate the responses at specific phases of the rhythm (prominent for frequencies between 2Hz and 12Hz). These results provide a quantitative characterization of how slow auditory cortical rhythms shape sound encoding and suggest a differential contribution of network activity at different time scales. In addition, they highlight a putative mechanism that may implement the selective amplification of appropriately timed sound tokens relative to the phase of rhythmic auditory cortex activity.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kayser, Professor Christoph and Panzeri, Professor Stefano
Authors: Kayser, C., Wilson, C., Safaai, H., Sakata, S., and Panzeri, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher:The Society for Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1529-2401
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 Kayser et al.
First Published:First published in Journal of Neuroscience 35(20):7750-7762
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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