Online stimulus optimization rapidly reveals multidimensional selectivity in auditory cortical neurons

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Anna R ChambersDaniel B Polley


Neurons in sensory brain regions shape our perception of the surrounding environment through two parallel operations: decomposition and integration. For example, auditory neurons decompose sounds by separately encoding their frequency, temporal modulation, intensity, and spatial location. Neurons also integrate across these various features to support a unified perceptual gestalt of an auditory object. At higher levels of a sensory pathway, neurons may select for a restricted region of feature space defined by the intersection of multiple, independent stimulus dimensions. To further characterize how auditory cortical neurons decompose and integrate multiple facets of an isolated sound, we developed an automated procedure that manipulated five fundamental acoustic properties in real time based on single-unit feedback in awake mice. Within several minutes, the online approach converged on regions of the multidimensional stimulus manifold that reliably drove neurons at significantly higher rates than predefined stimuli. Optimized stimuli were cross-validated against pure tone receptive fields and spectrotemporal receptive field estimates in the inferior colliculus and primary auditory cortex. We observed, from midbrain to cortex, ...Continue Reading


Oct 27, 2015·Current Opinion in Neurobiology·Robert C Froemke, Christoph E Schreiner
Sep 9, 2016·Journal of Neurophysiology·Calum Alex GrimsleyShobhana Sivaramakrishnan
Aug 9, 2019·Journal of Neural Engineering·Charles-Henri VilaDaniel B Polley
Feb 7, 2019·Frontiers in Neural Circuits·R Ozgur Doruk, Kechen Zhang
Oct 23, 2018·F1000Research·Andrew J KingBen D B Willmore

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