Suppression of cortical representation through backward conditioning

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Feb 4;100(3):1405-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0337527100. Epub 2003 Jan 21.


Temporal stimulus reinforcement sequences have been shown to determine the directions of synaptic plasticity and behavioral learning. Here, we examined whether they also control the direction of cortical reorganization. Pairing ventral tegmental area stimulation with a sound in a backward conditioning paradigm specifically reduced representations of the paired sound in the primary auditory cortex (AI). This temporal sequence-dependent bidirectional cortical plasticity modulated by dopamine release hypothetically serves to prevent the over-representation of frequently occurring stimuli resulting from their random pairing with unrelated rewards.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Synapses
  • Time Factors


  • Dopamine