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Cortical ensemble activity discriminates auditory attentional states

Authors: Pan-tong Yao, Jia Shen, Liang Chen, Shaoyu Ge & Qiaojie Xiong
Publication: Molecular Brain
Date: October 17, 2019
Link to article: https://molecularbrain.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13041-019-0502-z?__h…


Selective attention modulates sensory cortical activity. It remains unclear how auditory cortical activity represents stimuli that differ behaviorally. We designed a cross-modality task in which mice made decisions to obtain rewards based on attended visual or auditory stimuli. We recorded auditory cortical activity in behaving mice attending to, ignoring, or passively hearing auditory stimuli. Engaging in the task bidirectionally modulates neuronal responses to the auditory stimuli in both the attended and ignored conditions compared to passive hearing. Neuronal ensemble activity in response to stimuli under attended, ignored and passive conditions are readily distinguishable. Furthermore, ensemble activity under attended and ignored conditions are in closer states compared to passive condition, and they share a component of attentional modulation which drives them to the same direction in the population activity space. Our findings suggest that the ignored condition is very different from the passive condition, and the auditory cortical sensory processing under ignored, attended and passive conditions are modulated differently.

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