State-dependent representation of amplitude-modulated noise stimuli in rat auditory cortex

J Neurosci. 2011 Apr 27;31(17):6414-20. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5773-10.2011.


Cortical responses can vary greatly between repeated presentations of an identical stimulus. Here we report that both trial-to-trial variability and faithfulness of auditory cortical stimulus representations depend critically on brain state. A frozen amplitude-modulated white noise stimulus was repeatedly presented while recording neuronal populations and local field potentials (LFPs) in auditory cortex of urethane-anesthetized rats. An information-theoretic measure was used to predict neuronal spiking activity from either the stimulus envelope or simultaneously recorded LFP. Evoked LFPs and spiking more faithfully followed high-frequency temporal modulations when the cortex was in a desynchronized state. In the synchronized state, neural activity was poorly predictable from the stimulus envelope, but the spiking of individual neurons could still be predicted from the ongoing LFP. Our results suggest that although auditory cortical activity remains coordinated as a population in the synchronized state, the ability of continuous auditory stimuli to control this activity is greatly diminished.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation / methods
  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / cytology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Noise*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Probability
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spectrum Analysis