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On the Role of Sensory Cancellation and Corollary Discharge in Neural Coding and Behavior

Enikolopov, Armen

Studies of cerebellum-like circuits in fish have demonstrated that synaptic plasticity shapes the motor corollary discharge responses of granule cells into highly-specific predictions of self- generated sensory input. However, the functional significance of such predictions, known as negative images, has not been directly tested. Here we provide evidence for improvements in neural coding and behavioral detection of prey-like stimuli due to negative images. In addition, we find that manipulating synaptic plasticity leads to specific changes in circuit output that disrupt neural coding and detection of prey-like stimuli. These results link synaptic plasticity, neural coding, and behavior and also provide a circuit-level account of how combining external sensory input with internally-generated predictions enhances sensory processing. In addition, the mammalian dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) integrates auditory nerve input with a diverse array of sensory and motor signals processed within circuity similar to the cerebellum. Yet how the DCN contributes to early auditory processing has been a longstanding puzzle. Using electrophysiological recordings in mice during licking behavior we show that DCN neurons are largely unaffected by self-generated sounds while remaining sensitive to external acoustic stimuli. Recordings in deafened mice, together with neural activity manipulations, indicate that self-generated sounds are cancelled by non-auditory signals conveyed by mossy fibers. In addition, DCN neurons exhibit gradual reductions in their responses to acoustic stimuli that are temporally correlated with licking. Together, these findings suggest that DCN may act as an adaptive filter for cancelling self-generated sounds. Adaptive filtering has been established previously for cerebellum-like sensory structures in fish suggesting a conserved function for such structures across vertebrates.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biological Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Sawtell, Nathaniel B.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
September 24, 2018
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