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Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 28;9(1):2529. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04839-9.

Go/No-Go task engagement enhances population representation of target stimuli in primary auditory cortex.

Author information

1
Brain Plasticity Unit, Équipe MOBS, CNRS UMR 8249, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris, 10 rue Vauquelin, 75005, Paris, France.
2
Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, Département d'Études Cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005, Paris, France.
3
Neural Systems Laboratory, Institute for Systems Research & Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland in College Park, 2202 A.V. Williams Building, College Park, MD 20742, MD, USA.
4
Laboratory of Brain, Hearing and Behavior, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239-3098, OR, USA.
5
Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, Département d'Études Cognitives, École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, CNRS, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005, Paris, France. boubenec@ens.fr.
6
Laboratoire de Neurosciences Cognitives, INSERM U960, École Normale Supérieure, PSL Research University, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005, Paris, France. srdjan.ostojic@ens.fr.

Abstract

Primary sensory cortices are classically considered to extract and represent stimulus features, while association and higher-order areas are thought to carry information about stimulus meaning. Here we show that this information can in fact be found in the neuronal population code of the primary auditory cortex (A1). A1 activity was recorded in awake ferrets while they either passively listened or actively discriminated stimuli in a range of Go/No-Go paradigms, with different sounds and reinforcements. Population-level dimensionality reduction techniques reveal that task engagement induces a shift in stimulus encoding from a sensory to a behaviorally driven representation that specifically enhances the target stimulus in all paradigms. This shift partly relies on task-engagement-induced changes in spontaneous activity. Altogether, we show that A1 population activity bears strong similarities to frontal cortex responses. These findings indicate that primary sensory cortices implement a crucial change in the structure of population activity to extract task-relevant information during behavior.

PMID:
29955046
PMCID:
PMC6023878
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-04839-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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