Article | Published:

A synaptic and circuit basis for corollary discharge in the auditory cortex

Nature volume 513, pages 189194 (11 September 2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Sensory regions of the brain integrate environmental cues with copies of motor-related signals important for imminent and ongoing movements. In mammals, signals propagating from the motor cortex to the auditory cortex are thought to have a critical role in normal hearing and behaviour, yet the synaptic and circuit mechanisms by which these motor-related signals influence auditory cortical activity remain poorly understood. Using in vivo intracellular recordings in behaving mice, we find that excitatory neurons in the auditory cortex are suppressed before and during movement, owing in part to increased activity of local parvalbumin-positive interneurons. Electrophysiology and optogenetic gain- and loss-of-function experiments reveal that motor-related changes in auditory cortical dynamics are driven by a subset of neurons in the secondary motor cortex that innervate the auditory cortex and are active during movement. These findings provide a synaptic and circuit basis for the motor-related corollary discharge hypothesized to facilitate hearing and auditory-guided behaviours.

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Acknowledgements

We thank the members of the Mooney laboratory for discussions regarding experimental design and data analysis; S. Lisberger, F. Wang and S. Shea for their valuable comments on the manuscript; and M. Booze for technical support and animal husbandry. D.M.S. is a fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation; A.N. was supported by the Holland-Trice Graduate Fellowship in Brain Sciences; R.M. was supported by NIH grant NS079929.

Author information

Author notes

    • David M. Schneider
    •  & Anders Nelson

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA

    • David M. Schneider
    • , Anders Nelson
    •  & Richard Mooney

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Contributions

D.M.S., A.N. and R.M. initiated the project and designed the experiments. D.M.S. performed electrophysiological, optogenetic, and pharmacological experiments in head-fixed mice. A.N. performed electrophysiological experiments in unrestrained mice, two-photon calcium imaging in head-fixed mice, immunohistochemistry, and imaging. D.M.S. and A.N. analysed the data. D.M.S., A.N. and R.M. prepared the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Richard Mooney.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13724

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