Cortex

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Intratelencephalic and pyramidal tract neurons are two major types of cortical excitatory neurons that project to cortical and subcortical structures. The authors show that in the prefrontal cortex the two populations have different roles for the maintenance of working memory and for tracking the passage of time.

    • Jung Won Bae
    • , Huijeong Jeong
    •  & Min Whan Jung
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the primary auditory cortex, visual or tactile stimuli can modulate acoustically-driven activity. Here, the authors show that circuits linking the primary somatosensory cortex to both the auditory midbrain and thalamus allow tactile inputs to modulate auditory thalamocortical processing.

    • Michael Lohse
    • , Johannes C. Dahmen
    •  & Andrew J. King
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Despite its wide and growing use, the mechanisms by which in vivo vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) exerts its therapeutic benefits are still largely unknown. Here, the authors show in mice that pupil dilation is a reliable and noninvasive biosensor for titratable VNS-evoked cortical neuromodulation by acetylcholine.

    • Zakir Mridha
    • , Jan Willem de Gee
    •  & Matthew James McGinley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Different languages rely on different vocal sounds to convey meaning. Here the authors show that language-general coding of pitch occurs in the non-primary auditory cortex for both tonal (Mandarin Chinese) and non-tonal (English) languages, with some language specificity on the population level.

    • Yuanning Li
    • , Claire Tang
    •  & Edward F. Chang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Aponte et al. show that cortical direction selectivity to frequency modulated sounds is shaped by asymmetric signal amplification within recurrent circuits. Optogenetics and network modelling demonstrate that this asymmetry arises due to broad spatial topography of SOM cell mediated inhibition.

    • Destinee A. Aponte
    • , Gregory Handy
    •  & Hiroyuki K. Kato
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Haque et al. demonstrate that the episodic memory of a single visual scene is sufficient for humans to recognize if a visual scene has subsequently changed. A prediction error signal first arises in the visual association cortex when individuals recognize these changes.

    • Rafi U. Haque
    • , Sara K. Inati
    •  & Kareem A. Zaghloul
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory neuronal circuits adapt during maturation when animals start to actively interact with the external world. The authors reveal structural and functional rearrangements of the input cortical interneurons receive around the time the animals start active sensation.

    • Rahel Kastli
    • , Rasmus Vighagen
    •  & Theofanis Karayannis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Oligodendrocytes myelinate and metabolically support axons. The role of myelination in information processing beyond regulation of conduction velocity is unclear. Here, the authors show that myelination contributes to sustained stimulus perception in the auditory cortex, shaping neuronal responses.

    • Sharlen Moore
    • , Martin Meschkat
    •  & Klaus-Armin Nave
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During NREM sleep, spindles emerge from thalamocortical interactions. Here the authors carry out multisite thalamic and cortical recordings in freely behaving mice, to investigate the role of other non-classical thalamic sites in sleep spindle generation.

    • Mojtaba Bandarabadi
    • , Carolina Gutierrez Herrera
    •  & Antoine R. Adamantidis
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The human brain fluently parses continuous speech during perception and production. Using direct brain recordings coupled with stimulation, the authors identify separable substrates underlying two distinct predictive mechanisms of “when” in Heschl’s gyrus and “what” in planum temporale.

    • K. J. Forseth
    • , G. Hickok
    •  & N. Tandon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using a combination of two-photon imaging and single-cell electrophysiology, the authors discover that associative learning induces the emergence of a unique subset of neurons in the auditory cortex, exhibiting high-rate bursting responses to the learned complex sounds but not to any of the constituents.

    • Meng Wang
    • , Xiang Liao
    •  & Xiaowei Chen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Wittmann and colleagues show that not only single outcome events but also the global reward state (GRS) impact learning in macaques; low GRS drives explorative choices. Analyses of macaque BOLD signal reveals that GRS impacts activity in the anterior insula as well as the dorsal raphe nucleus.

    • Marco K. Wittmann
    • , Elsa Fouragnan
    •  & Matthew F. S. Rushworth
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Memory recollection involves reactivation of neural activity that occurred during the recalled experience. Here, the authors show that neural reactivation can be decomposed into visual-semantic features, is widely synchronized throughout the brain, and predicts memory vividness and accuracy.

    • Michael B. Bone
    • , Fahad Ahmad
    •  & Bradley R. Buchsbaum
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Odours are powerful stimuli used by most organisms to guide behaviour. Here, the authors identify populations of neurons within the anterior olfactory nucleus (AON) which are necessary and sufficient for the behavioural expression of odour memory.

    • Afif J. Aqrabawi
    •  & Jun Chul Kim
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The authors compare receptive fields and nonlinearities of synaptic inputs, membrane potentials, and spiking activity in the auditory cortex for broadband stimuli revealing distinct differences, which lead to an increase in feature selectivity from neuron input to output. Frequency selectivity is distinctly higher for spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) than for tonal receptive fields (TRFs).

    • Kyunghee X. Kim
    • , Craig A. Atencio
    •  & Christoph E. Schreiner
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Auditory contrast gain control helps us perceive sounds as constant despite changes in the environment or background noise. Here, the authors show that neurons in the auditory thalamus and midbrain of mice display independent contrast gain control, not just the cortex as previously thought.

    • Michael Lohse
    • , Victoria M. Bajo
    •  & Ben D. B. Willmore
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding mechanisms of cerebral oxygen regulation is critical for healthy brain function. Here the authors show that respiration is a key modulator of cerebral oxygenation, which will be helpful in better resolving neurally-generated functional brain imaging signals, such as BOLD fMRI.

    • Qingguang Zhang
    • , Morgane Roche
    •  & Patrick J. Drew
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The degree of subjective confidence in deciding based on ambiguous sensory cues facilitates learning. Here, the authors report distinct functions of the basolateral amygdala and anterior cingulate cortex on implicit confidence judgements as well as flexible learning under uncertain conditions in rats.

    • A. Stolyarova
    • , M. Rakhshan
    •  & A. Izquierdo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Whether cortical neurons can fire reliable spikes amid cellular noise and chaotic network dynamics remains debated. Here the authors simulate a detailed neocortical microcircuit model and show that noisy and chaotic cortical network dynamics are compatible with stimulus-evoked, millisecond spike-time reliability.

    • Max Nolte
    • , Michael W. Reimann
    •  & Eilif B. Muller
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Certain sounds are especially attention-grabbing and often unpleasant as well. Here, the authors show that fast but perceptible amplitude modulations in the ‘roughness range' (30–150 Hz) are temporally salient and synchronise not just brain auditory networks but also salience-related networks.

    • Luc H. Arnal
    • , Andreas Kleinschmidt
    •  & Pierre Mégevand
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Practice can improve the perception of stimuli used to achieve a task (perceptual learning). Here, the authors show in monkeys that perceptual learning can be produced even for irrelevant stimuli if the stimuli are paired with stimulation of a dopaminergic centre, the ventral tegmental area (VTA).

    • John T. Arsenault
    •  & Wim Vanduffel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The left hemisphere of the brain is especially involved in processing social vocalizations and (in humans) language, but the mechanisms of this lateralization of function are unclear. Here, the authors compared left and right auditory cortex in mice and show lateralized, experience-dependent circuit-motifs.

    • Robert B. Levy
    • , Tiemo Marquarding
    •  & Hysell V. Oviedo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How does the auditory system allow for accurate speech perception against changes in background noise? Here, using neural activity in the auditory cortex as people listen to speech, the authors provide evidence that background noise is selectively suppressed to enhance representations of speech.

    • Bahar Khalighinejad
    • , Jose L. Herrero
    •  & Nima Mesgarani
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Our perception of a speech sound tends to remain stable despite variation in people’s vocal characteristics. Here, by measuring neural activity as people listened to speech from different voices, the authors provide evidence for speaker normalization processes in the human auditory cortex.

    • Matthias J. Sjerps
    • , Neal P. Fox
    •  & Edward F. Chang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Little is known about mechanisms that regulate the involvement of cortical engram cells in remote memory. Here, authors demonstrate that memory consolidation by mPFC engram cells requires CREB-mediated transcription, with the functionality of this network hub being gated by memory strength.

    • Mariana R. Matos
    • , Esther Visser
    •  & Michel C. van den Oever
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sounds vary in the strength of behavioural conditioning they can evoke, a property attributed to stimulus salience. Here, the authors show that stimulus salience the overall level of neuronal activity recruited in the auditory cortex is strongly related with its reinforcing strength.

    • Sebastian Ceballo
    • , Jacques Bourg
    •  & Brice Bathellier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vocalizations such as speech or animal calls have high variability in production. Here, the authors report that a few mid-level acoustic features provide sufficient information to generalize across this variability and classify vocalization types and auditory cortical neurons exhibit tuning to these features.

    • Shi Tong Liu
    • , Pilar Montes-Lourido
    •  & Srivatsun Sadagopan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In an open field, the preferential firing of grid cells on a hexagonal lattice is formed by integrating external as well as self-motion cues. Here, the authors show that on a 1D circular track, path integration cues shape the spatial selectivity of grid cells while external cues determine the scale of the grid.

    • Pierre-Yves Jacob
    • , Fabrizio Capitano
    •  & Francesca Sargolini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Our eyes constantly follow objects we see, but do they also move in synchrony with auditory inputs? Here, the authors show that eyelid movements track the temporal structure of speech and other sound sequences, which could reflect a role of motor systems in temporal attention and sequence processing.

    • Peiqing Jin
    • , Jiajie Zou
    •  & Nai Ding
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Perceptual constancy requires neural representations selective for object identity, yet tolerant of identity-preserving transformations. Here, the authors show that sound identity is represented robustly in auditory cortex and that behavioral generalization requires precise timing of identity information.

    • Stephen M. Town
    • , Katherine C. Wood
    •  & Jennifer K. Bizley
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Forgetting is ubiquitous across the animal kingdom, but neuroscience is only beginning to address its mechanisms. This study shows that rats, like humans, actively forget memories that interfere with retrieval, and that this retrieval-induced forgetting requires the prefrontal cortex.

    • Pedro Bekinschtein
    • , Noelia V. Weisstaub
    •  & Michael C. Anderson
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The success of extinction learning is not predictive of long-term retrieval of an extinction memory. Using fMRI to study consolidation of fear extinction in human subjects, the authors show that reactivation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex during memory retrieval predicts extinction memory retrieval, and that increasing dopaminergic signaling increases the number of these activations.

    • A. M. V. Gerlicher
    • , O. Tüscher
    •  & R. Kalisch
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Perceptual learning, the improvement in perceptual abilities with training, is thought to involve changes in neuronal 'tuning'. Here, the authors show that perceptual learning works by making neurons increasingly sensitive to task-relevant differences in stimuli, and by improving population coding mechanisms.

    • Mehdi Sanayei
    • , Xing Chen
    •  & Alexander Thiele
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory tuning properties of neurons in the secondary whisker somatosensory cortex (wS2) are not well understood. Here, the authors report that wS2 neurons supralinearly integrate concurrent multi-whisker input with larger temporal windows than primary somatosensory cortex.

    • Matías A. Goldin
    • , Evan R. Harrell
    •  & Daniel E. Shulz
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Saccades have been extensively used to report choices in perceptual decision making studies yet little is known about the influence of covert decision-related processes on saccade metrics. Here, the authors demonstrate that saccade kinematics is a reliable tell about the degree of decision certainty.

    • Joshua A. Seideman
    • , Terrence R. Stanford
    •  & Emilio Salinas
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During vocalization, mammals change their vocal production to compensate for altered auditory feedback. Here, Eliades and Tsunada show that neural activity in the marmoset’s auditory cortex mediates this effect, and that stimulation of the auditory cortex evokes similar changes in vocalization.

    • Steven J. Eliades
    •  & Joji Tsunada
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sensory areas are thought to process stimulus information while higher-order processing occurs in association cortices. Here the authors report that during task engagement population activity in ferret primary auditory cortex shifts away from encoding stimulus features toward detection of the behaviourally relevant targets.

    • Sophie Bagur
    • , Martin Averseng
    •  & Srdjan Ostojic