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Input-Specific Gain Modulation by Local Sensory Context Shapes Cortical and Thalamic Responses to Complex Sounds

Williamson, RS; Ahrens, MB; Linden, JF; Sahani, M; (2016) Input-Specific Gain Modulation by Local Sensory Context Shapes Cortical and Thalamic Responses to Complex Sounds. Neuron , 91 (2) pp. 467-481. 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.041. Green open access

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Abstract

Sensory neurons are customarily characterized by one or more linearly weighted receptive fields describing sensitivity in sensory space and time. We show that in auditory cortical and thalamic neurons, the weight of each receptive field element depends on the pattern of sound falling within a local neighborhood surrounding it in time and frequency. Accounting for this change in effective receptive field with spectrotemporal context improves predictions of both cortical and thalamic responses to stationary complex sounds. Although context dependence varies among neurons and across brain areas, there are strong shared qualitative characteristics. In a spectrotemporally rich soundscape, sound elements modulate neuronal responsiveness more effectively when they coincide with sounds at other frequencies, and less effectively when they are preceded by sounds at similar frequencies. This local-context-driven lability in the representation of complex sounds-a modulation of "input-specific gain" rather than "output gain"-may be a widespread motif in sensory processing.

Type: Article
Title: Input-Specific Gain Modulation by Local Sensory Context Shapes Cortical and Thalamic Responses to Complex Sounds
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.041
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.05.041
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Gatsby Computational Neurosci Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1501164
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