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Sci Rep. 2018 Jan 11;8(1):472. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18793-x.

Neural correlates of perceptual separation-induced enhancement of prepulse inhibition of startle in humans.

Lei M1,2, Zhang C1,3, Li L4,5,6.

Author information

1
School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavioral and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100080, China.
2
Department of Health Industry Management, Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, 100024, China.
3
Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai, 200062, China.
4
School of Psychological and Cognitive Sciences, Beijing Key Laboratory of Behavioral and Mental Health, Peking University, Beijing, 100080, China. liangli@pku.edu.cn.
5
Key Laboratory on Machine Perception (Ministry of Education), Speech and Hearing Research Center, Peking University, Beijing, 100871, China. liangli@pku.edu.cn.
6
Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing, 100069, China. liangli@pku.edu.cn.

Abstract

Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is the suppression of the startle reflex when the intense startling stimulus is shortly preceded by a weaker non-startling stimulus (prepulse). In rats, the auditory precedence-effect-induced perceived spatial separation between the fear-conditioned prepulse and a noise masker facilitates selective attention to the prepulse and enhances PPI. However, whether the perceptual separation between the prepulse and a noise masker can also enhance PPI in humans remains unclear. Also, the relationship between the PPI enhancement and the change in early cortical representations of prepulse signals is unclear. This study for the first time reveals that in a sound-attenuated laboratory environment, relative to the listening condition with perceptual co-location between the prepulse stimulus and a noise-masking stimulus, the perceptual separation between the two stimuli significantly enhances the group-mean PPI. More importantly, the early cortical responses (N1/P2 complex) to the prepulse stimulus are also enhanced by the perceptual separation in most listeners, and the perceptual-separation-induced enhancement of the N1 component is positively correlated with the perceptual-separation-induced PPI enhancement. Thus, the perceptual separation enhances PPI through facilitating selective attention to the prepulse, leading to an enhancement of the early cortical representation of the prepulse signal in temporal auditory cortical fields.

PMID:
29323167
PMCID:
PMC5765047
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-18793-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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