Acoustic context modulates natural sound discrimination in auditory cortex through frequency specific adaptation

  • Vocal communication is essential to coordinate social interactions in mammals and it requires a fine discrimination of communication sounds. Auditory neurons can exhibit selectivity for specific calls, but how it is affected by preceding sounds is still debated. We tackled this using ethologically relevant vocalizations in a highly vocal mammalian species: Seba’s short-tailed bat. We show that cortical neurons present several degrees of selectivity for echolocation and distress calls. Embedding vocalizations within natural acoustic streams leads to stimulus-specific suppression of neuronal responses that changes sound selectivity in disparate manners: increases in neurons with poor discriminability in silence and decreases in neurons selective in silent settings. A computational model indicates that the observed effects arise from two forms of adaptation: presynaptic frequency specific adaptation acting in cortical inputs and stimulus unspecific postsynaptic adaptation. These results shed light into how acoustic context modulates natural sound discriminability in the mammalian cortex.

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Author:Luciana López JuryORCiDGND, Francisco García RosalesORCiDGND, Eugenia González PalomaresORCiD, Manfred KösslORCiD, Julio C. Hechavarria-CueriaORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):bioRxiv
Document Type:Preprint
Date of Publication (online):2021/03/10
Date of first Publication:2021/03/10
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/06/13
Page Number:37
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International