Synaptic Recruitment Enhances Gap Termination Responses in Auditory Cortex

The ability to detect short gaps in noise is an important tool for assessing the temporal resolution in the auditory cortex. However, the mere existence of responses to temporal gaps bounded by two short broadband markers is surprising, because of the expected short-term suppression that is prevalent in auditory cortex. Here, we used in-vivo intracellular recordings in anesthetized rats to dissect the synaptic mechanisms that underlie gap-related responses. When a gap is bounded by two short markers, a gap termination response was evoked by the onset of the second marker with minimal contribution from the offset of the first marker. Importantly, we show that the gap termination response was driven by a different (potentially partially overlapping) synaptic population than that underlying the onset response to the first marker. This recruitment of additional synaptic resources is a novel mechanism contributing to the important perceptual task of gap detection.

Authors: Bshara Awwad, Maciej M Jankowski, Israel Nelken
Year of publication: 2020
Journal: Cerebral Cortex Volume 30, Issue 8, August 2020, Pages 4465–4480

Link to publication:


“Working memory”