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Poster A7

Cortical circuit dynamics contributing to spatially directed attentional control in complex auditory environments.

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Martín Irani1,3 (, Oliver Qu2,4, Rachael Bell1,4, Sepideh Sadaghiani1,3, Howard Gritton1,2,4; 1Neuroscience Program, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61820, IL, USA, 2Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61820, IL, USA, 3Department of Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61820, IL, USA, 4Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, 61820, IL, USA

The ability to segregate specific sound features from statistically competing sound sources is essential for extracting meaningful information in a complex sound environment. However, how auditory cortex represents spatial sound information at the cortical level remains poorly understood. In this study, our goal was to characterize how sound location is represented across cortical layers and how attention might alter sensory processing representation in the primary auditory cortex. To address this question, we collected local field potential and single-unit recordings across cortical layers from fourteen mice in a multi-speaker environment. During the task, mice were presented with auditory stimuli from speakers arranged along the azimuth at four locations. The experiment was divided into a passive block, where locations were not relevant, and an active block, where one of the locations were associated with reward. Our results reveal an enhancement in frequencies in the alpha/beta range (8-16 Hz) and delta range (1-4 Hz) for relevant locations during the active block. This suggests a top-down contribution to the modulation of alpha-beta and delta frequencies during active spatial auditory attention. We further discovered these changes were associated with changes in physiological measures of attentional load including location specific changes in pupil diameter. Our preliminary findings indicate that changes in these frequency bands emerge differentially across cortical layers, and we are currently exploring how these changes in rhythms contribute to the discriminability of sound location at the level of single neurons in the auditory cortex.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Auditory


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April 13–16  |  2024