Neural correlates of auditory perception
Patrick Krauss1, Achim Schilling1, Holger Schulze1; 1University Hospital Erlangen
In search of the neural correlates of auditory perception in rodents we compare three different classes of neural activity patterns recorded via a multichannel recording system: (1) stimulus driven activity, reflecting both, sensory processing and perception; (2) spontaneous activity in naïve animals, i.e. neither sensory processing nor perception; (3) activity reflecting a stable (phantom) percept without sensory processing. Therefore, we use our animal model for chronic subjective tinnitus as a tool to induce a phantom percept without sensory input. The frequency of the perceived subjective tinnitus is estimated using a well established behavioral paradigm, i.e. the gap pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. We find that acoustic percepts are characterized by attractor-like spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activity within auditory cortex. These neuronal attractors are specific for the perceptual quality of each distinguishable percept, i.e. different frequencies of acoustic stimulation or silence, respectively. In case of subjective tinnitus, the neural attractor that can be measured during silence is shifted into that location where the corresponding stimulus driven activity leading to a similar perceptual quality as the tinnitus is represented.
Topic Area: PERCEPTION & ACTION: Audition