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Sen­si­tiv­i­ty of rat infe­ri­or col­licu­lus neu­rons to fre­quen­cy dis­tri­b­u­tions by Her­rmann et al.

New paper in press by AC Alum­ni Björn Her­rman in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ed Bartlett and col­leagues from Pur­due Uni­ver­si­ty on stim­u­lus-sta­tis­ti­cal and stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion in the rat infe­ri­or col­licu­lus that will appear soon in the Jour­nal of Neurophysiology.

Sen­si­tiv­i­ty of rat infe­ri­or col­licu­lus neu­rons to fre­quen­cy distributions

Stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion refers to a neur­al response reduc­tion to a repeat­ed stim­u­lus that does not gen­er­al­ize to oth­er stim­uli. How­ev­er, stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion appears be influ­enced by addi­tion­al fac­tors. For exam­ple, the sta­tis­ti­cal dis­tri­b­u­tion of tone fre­quen­cies has recent­ly been shown to dynam­i­cal­ly alter stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion in human audi­to­ry cor­tex. The cur­rent study inves­ti­gat­ed whether sta­tis­ti­cal stim­u­lus dis­tri­b­u­tions also affect stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion at an ear­li­er stage of the audi­to­ry hier­ar­chy. Neur­al spik­ing activ­i­ty and local field poten­tials were record­ed from infe­ri­or col­licu­lus neu­rons of rats while tones were pre­sent­ed in odd­ball sequences that formed two dif­fer­ent sta­tis­ti­cal con­texts. Each sequence con­sist­ed of a repeat­ed­ly pre­sent­ed tone (stan­dard) and three rare deviants of dif­fer­ent mag­ni­tudes (small, mod­er­ate, large spec­tral change). The crit­i­cal manip­u­la­tion was the rel­a­tive prob­a­bil­i­ty with which large spec­tral changes occurred. In one con­text, the prob­a­bil­i­ty was high (rel­a­tive to all deviants) while it was low in the oth­er con­text. We observed larg­er respons­es for deviants com­pared to stan­dards, con­firm­ing pre­vi­ous reports of increased response adap­ta­tion for fre­quent­ly pre­sent­ed tones. Impor­tant­ly, the sta­tis­ti­cal con­text in which tones were pre­sent­ed strong­ly mod­u­lat­ed stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion. Phys­i­cal­ly and prob­a­bilis­ti­cal­ly iden­ti­cal stim­uli (mod­er­ate deviants) in the two sta­tis­ti­cal con­texts elicit­ed dif­fer­ent respons­es mag­ni­tudes con­sis­tent with neur­al gain changes and thus neur­al sen­si­tiv­i­ty adjust­ments induced by the spec­tral range of a stim­u­lus dis­tri­b­u­tion. The data show that already at the lev­el of the infe­ri­or col­licu­lus stim­u­lus-spe­cif­ic adap­ta­tion is dynam­i­cal­ly altered by the sta­tis­ti­cal con­text in which stim­uli occur.


  • Her­rmann B1, Parthasarathy A2, Han EX, Obleser J3, Bartlett EL2. Sen­si­tiv­i­ty of rat infe­ri­or col­licu­lus neu­rons to fre­quen­cy dis­tri­b­u­tions. J Neu­ro­phys­i­ol. 2015 Sep 9:jn. PMID: 26354316. [Open with Read]