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Behav Neurosci. 1991 Feb;105(1):154-75.

Subcortical adaptive filtering in the auditory system: associative receptive field plasticity in the dorsal medial geniculate body.

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  • 1Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine 92717.


Highly specific subcortical receptive field (RF) plasticity was found in the dorsal division of the guinea pig medial geniculate body during cardiac conditioning to a tonal frequency. There was increased response to the conditioned-stimulus (CS) frequency, and there were decreased responses to adjacent frequencies, especially at the pretraining best frequency (BF), which often resulted in a shift of tuning such that the CS became the new BF. Moreover, 1 hr later the effects were stronger, more sharply tuned, and centered on the CS frequency. A sensitization paradigm produced only broad, general increases of response across the RF. These findings reveal that the analysis of sensory RF dynamics is a valuable approach to understanding the neural mechanisms of information processing in learning and memory.

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