22 research outputs found

    Auditory predictions shape the neural responses to stimulus repetition and sensory change

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    Perception is a highly active process relying on the continuous formulation of predictive inferences using short-term sensory memory templates, which are recursively adjusted based on new input. According to this idea, earlier studies have shown that novel stimuli preceded by a higher number of repetitions yield greater novelty responses, indexed by larger mismatch negativity (MMN). However, it is not clear whether this MMN memory trace effect is driven by more adapted responses to prior stimulation or rather by a heightened processing of the unexpected deviant, and only few studies have so far attempted to characterize the functional neuroanatomy of these effects. Here we implemented a modified version of the auditory frequency oddball paradigm that enables modeling the responses to both repeated standard and deviant stimuli. Fifteen subjects underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while their attention was diverted from auditory stimulation. We found that deviants with longer stimulus history of standard repetitions yielded a more robust and widespread activation in the bilateral auditory cortex. Standard tones repetition yielded a pattern of response entangling both suppression and enhancement effects depending on the predictability of upcoming stimuli. We also observed that regularity encoding and deviance detection mapped onto spatially segregated cortical subfields. Our data provide a better understanding of the neural representations underlying auditory repetition and deviance detection effects, and further support that perception operates through the principles of Bayesian predictive coding

    Phonological Task Enhances the Frequency-Following Response to Deviant Task-Irrelevant Speech Sounds

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    In electroencephalography (EEG) measurements, processing of periodic sounds in the ascending auditory pathway generates the frequency-following response (FFR) phase-locked to the fundamental frequency (F0) and its harmonics of a sound. We measured FFRs to the steady-state (vowel) part of syllables /ba/ and /aw/ occurring in binaural rapid streams of speech sounds as frequently repeating standard syllables or as infrequent (p = 0.2) deviant syllables among standard /wa/ syllables. Our aim was to study whether concurrent active phonological processing affects early processing of irrelevant speech sounds reflected by FFRs to these sounds. To this end, during syllable delivery, our healthy adult participants performed tasks involving written letters delivered on a computer screen in a rapid stream. The stream consisted of vowel letters written in red, infrequently occurring consonant letters written in the same color, and infrequently occurring vowel letters written in blue. In the phonological task, the participants were instructed to press a response key to the consonant letters differing phonologically but not in color from the frequently occurring red vowels, whereas in the non-phonological task, they were instructed to respond to the vowel letters written in blue differing only in color from the frequently occurring red vowels. We observed that the phonological task enhanced responses to deviant /ba/ syllables but not responses to deviant /aw/ syllables. This suggests that active phonological task performance may enhance processing of such small changes in irrelevant speech sounds as the 30-ms difference in the initial formant-transition time between the otherwise identical syllables /ba/ and /wa/ used in the present study.Peer reviewe

    COMT and DRD2/ANKK-1 gene-gene interaction account for resetting of gamma neural oscillations to auditory stimulus-driven attention

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    Attention capture by potentially relevant environmental stimuli is critical for human survival, yet it varies considerably among individuals. A large series of studies has suggested that attention capture may depend on the cognitive balance between maintenance and manipulation of mental representations and the flexible switch between goal-directed representations and potentially relevant stimuli outside the focus of attention; a balance that seems modulated by a prefrontostriatal dopamine pathway. Here, we examined inter-individual differences in the cognitive control of attention through studying the effects of two single nucleotide polymorphisms regulating dopamine at the prefrontal cortex and the striatum (i.e., COMTMet108/158Val and ANKK1/DRD2TaqIA) on stimulus-driven attention capture. Healthy adult participants (N = 40) were assigned to different groups according to the combination of the polymorphisms COMTMet108/158Val and ANKK1/DRD2TaqIA, and were instructed to perform on a well-established distraction protocol. Performance in individuals with a balance between prefrontal dopamine display and striatal receptor density was slowed down by the occurrence of unexpected distracting events, while those with a rather unbalanced dopamine activity were able maintain task performance with no time delay, yet at the expense of a slightly lower accuracy. This advantage, associated to their distinct genetic profiles, was paralleled by an electrophysiological mechanism of phase-resetting of gamma neural oscillation to the novel, distracting events. Taken together, the current results suggest that the epistatic interaction between COMTVal108/158Met and ANKK1/DRD2 TaqIa genetic polymorphisms lies at the basis of stimulus-driven attention capture

    <i>COMT</i> and <i>DRD2/ANKK-1</i> gene-gene interaction account for resetting of gamma neural oscillations to auditory stimulus-driven attention

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    <div><p>Attention capture by potentially relevant environmental stimuli is critical for human survival, yet it varies considerably among individuals. A large series of studies has suggested that attention capture may depend on the cognitive balance between maintenance and manipulation of mental representations and the flexible switch between goal-directed representations and potentially relevant stimuli outside the focus of attention; a balance that seems modulated by a prefrontostriatal dopamine pathway. Here, we examined inter-individual differences in the cognitive control of attention through studying the effects of two single nucleotide polymorphisms regulating dopamine at the prefrontal cortex and the striatum (i.e., <i>COMTMet108/158Val</i> and <i>ANKK1/DRD2TaqIA</i>) on stimulus-driven attention capture. Healthy adult participants (N = 40) were assigned to different groups according to the combination of the polymorphisms <i>COMTMet108/158Val</i> and <i>ANKK1/DRD2TaqIA</i>, and were instructed to perform on a well-established distraction protocol. Performance in individuals with a balance between prefrontal dopamine display and striatal receptor density was slowed down by the occurrence of unexpected distracting events, while those with a rather unbalanced dopamine activity were able maintain task performance with no time delay, yet at the expense of a slightly lower accuracy. This advantage, associated to their distinct genetic profiles, was paralleled by an electrophysiological mechanism of phase-resetting of gamma neural oscillation to the novel, distracting events. Taken together, the current results suggest that the epistatic interaction between <i>COMTVal108/158Met</i> and <i>ANKK1/DRD2 TaqIa</i> genetic polymorphisms lies at the basis of stimulus-driven attention capture.</p></div

    Involvement of the Serotonin Transporter Gene in Accurate Subcortical Speech Encoding

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    A flourishing line of evidence has highlighted the encoding of speech sounds in the subcortical auditory system as being shaped by acoustic, linguistic, and musical experience and training. And while the heritability of auditory speech as well as nonspeech processing has been suggested, the genetic determinants of subcortical speech processing have not yet been uncovered. Here, we postulated that the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR), a common functional polymorphism located in the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), is implicated in speech encoding in the human subcortical auditory pathway. Serotonin has been shown as essential for modulating the brain response to sound both cortically and subcortically, yet the genetic factors regulating this modulation regarding speech sounds have not been disclosed. We recorded the frequency following response, a biomarker of the neural tracking of speech sounds in the subcortical auditory pathway, and cortical evoked potentials in 58 participants elicited to the syllable /ba/, which was presented >2000 times. Participants with low serotonin transporter expression had higher signal-to-noise ratios as well as a higher pitch strength representation of the periodic part of the syllable than participants with medium to high expression, possibly by tuning synaptic activity to the stimulus features and hence a more efficient suppression of noise. These results imply the 5-HTTLPR in subcortical auditory speech encoding and add an important, genetically determined layer to the factors shaping the human subcortical response to speech sounds. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The accurate encoding of speech sounds in the subcortical auditory nervous system is of paramount relevance for human communication, and it has been shown to be altered in different disorders of speech and auditory processing. Importantly, this encoding is plastic and can therefore be enhanced by language and music experience. Whether genetic factors play a role in speech encoding at the subcortical level remains unresolved. Here we show that a common polymorphism in the serotonin transporter gene relates to an accurate and robust neural tracking of speech stimuli in the subcortical auditory pathway. This indicates that serotonin transporter expression, eventually in combination with other polymorphisms, delimits the extent to which lifetime experience shapes the subcortical encoding of speech

    Deviance-related responses along the auditory hierarchy: combined FFR, MLR and MMN evidence

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    The mismatch negativity (MMN) provides a correlate of automatic auditory discrimination in human auditory cortex that is elicited in response to violation of any acoustic regularity. Recently, deviance-related responses were found at much earlier cortical processing stages as reflected by the middle latency response (MLR) of the auditory evoked potential, and even at the level of the auditory brainstem as reflected by the frequency following response (FFR). However, no study has reported deviance-related responses in the FFR, MLR and long latency response (LLR) concurrently in a single recording protocol. Amplitude-modulated (AM) sounds were presented to healthy human participants in a frequency oddball paradigm to investigate deviance-related responses along the auditory hierarchy in the ranges of FFR, MLR and LLR. AM frequency deviants modulated the FFR, the Na and Nb components of the MLR, and the LLR eliciting the MMN. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to elicit deviance-related responses at three different levels (FFR, MLR and LLR) in one single recording protocol, highlight the involvement of the whole auditory hierarchy in deviance detection and have implications for cognitive and clinical auditory neuroscience. Moreover, the present protocol provides a new research tool into clinical neuroscience so that the functional integrity of the auditory novelty system can now be tested as a whole in a range of clinical populations where the MMN was previously shown to be defectiv

    Timing predictability enhances regularity encoding in the human subcortical auditory pathway

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    The encoding of temporal regularities is a critical property of the auditory system, as short-term neural representations of environmental statistics serve to auditory object formation and detection of potentially relevant novel stimuli. A putative neural mechanism underlying regularity encoding is repetition suppression, the reduction of neural activity to repeated stimulation. Although repetitive stimulation per se has shown to reduce auditory neural activity in animal cortical and subcortical levels and in the human cerebral cortex, other factors such as timing may influence the encoding of statistical regularities. This study was set out to investigate whether temporal predictability in the ongoing auditory input modulates repetition suppression in subcortical stages of the auditory processing hierarchy. Human auditory frequency-following responses (FFR) were recorded to a repeating consonant-vowel stimuli (/wa/) delivered in temporally predictable and unpredictable conditions. FFR amplitude was attenuated by repetition independently of temporal predictability, yet we observed an accentuated suppression when the incoming stimulation was temporally predictable. These findings support the view that regularity encoding spans across the auditory hierarchy and point to temporal predictability as a modulatory factor of regularity encoding in early stages of the auditory pathway

    Deviance-Related Responses along the Auditory Hierarchy: Combined FFR, MLR and MMN Evidence.

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    The mismatch negativity (MMN) provides a correlate of automatic auditory discrimination in human auditory cortex that is elicited in response to violation of any acoustic regularity. Recently, deviance-related responses were found at much earlier cortical processing stages as reflected by the middle latency response (MLR) of the auditory evoked potential, and even at the level of the auditory brainstem as reflected by the frequency following response (FFR). However, no study has reported deviance-related responses in the FFR, MLR and long latency response (LLR) concurrently in a single recording protocol. Amplitude-modulated (AM) sounds were presented to healthy human participants in a frequency oddball paradigm to investigate deviance-related responses along the auditory hierarchy in the ranges of FFR, MLR and LLR. AM frequency deviants modulated the FFR, the Na and Nb components of the MLR, and the LLR eliciting the MMN. These findings demonstrate that it is possible to elicit deviance-related responses at three different levels (FFR, MLR and LLR) in one single recording protocol, highlight the involvement of the whole auditory hierarchy in deviance detection and have implications for cognitive and clinical auditory neuroscience. Moreover, the present protocol provides a new research tool into clinical neuroscience so that the functional integrity of the auditory novelty system can now be tested as a whole in a range of clinical populations where the MMN was previously shown to be defective

    Timing predictability enhances regularity encoding in the human subcortical auditory pathway

    No full text
    The encoding of temporal regularities is a critical property of the auditory system, as short-term neural representations of environmental statistics serve to auditory object formation and detection of potentially relevant novel stimuli. A putative neural mechanism underlying regularity encoding is repetition suppression, the reduction of neural activity to repeated stimulation. Although repetitive stimulation per se has shown to reduce auditory neural activity in animal cortical and subcortical levels and in the human cerebral cortex, other factors such as timing may influence the encoding of statistical regularities. This study was set out to investigate whether temporal predictability in the ongoing auditory input modulates repetition suppression in subcortical stages of the auditory processing hierarchy. Human auditory frequency-following responses (FFR) were recorded to a repeating consonant-vowel stimuli (/wa/) delivered in temporally predictable and unpredictable conditions. FFR amplitude was attenuated by repetition independently of temporal predictability, yet we observed an accentuated suppression when the incoming stimulation was temporally predictable. These findings support the view that regularity encoding spans across the auditory hierarchy and point to temporal predictability as a modulatory factor of regularity encoding in early stages of the auditory pathway

    Grand average power spectrum of FFR at CPz electrode yielding a maximum peak at the modulation frequency (410 Hz).

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    <p>The waveforms are shown for reversed-standard (blue) and deviant (red) stimuli. The grey shaded bar denotes the window of the mean power used for statistics (405鈥415 Hz). The arrow on the x-axis indicates the modulation frequency (410 Hz). Note the significant enhancement of the spectral power at 410 Hz elicited by deviant stimuli (<i>p</i> < 0.05).</p
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