Distinct processing of tone offset in two primary auditory cortices

Magdalena Solyga1, Tania R Barkat1

1Brain and Sound Lab, Department of Biomedicine, Basel University, 4056 Basel, Switzerland

In the rodent auditory system, the primary cortex is subdivided into two regions, both receiving direct inputs from the auditory thalamus: the primary auditory cortex (A1) and the anterior auditory field (AAF). Although neurons in the two regions display different response properties, like response latency, firing threshold or tuning bandwidth, it is still not clear whether they process sound in a distinct way. Using in vivo electrophysiological recordings in the mouse auditory cortex, we found that AAF neurons have significantly stronger responses to tone offset than A1 neurons. AAF neurons also display faster and more transient responses than A1 neurons. Additionally, offset responses in AAF – unlike in A1, increase with sound duration. LFP and laminar analyses suggest that the difference in sound responses between these two primary cortices are both of subcortical and intracortical origin. These results emphasize the potentially critical role of AAF for temporal processing. Our study reveals a distinct role of two primary auditory cortices in tone processing and highlights the complexity of sound encoding at the cortical level.


Scientific Reports, July 2019
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