Parallel Processing of Sound Dynamics across Mouse Auditory Cortex via Spatially Patterned Thalamic Inputs and Distinct Areal Intracortical Circuits

Cell Rep. 2019 Apr 16;27(3):872-885.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.03.069.


Natural sounds have rich spectrotemporal dynamics. Spectral information is spatially represented in the auditory cortex (ACX) via large-scale maps. However, the representation of temporal information, e.g., sound offset, is unclear. We perform multiscale imaging of neuronal and thalamic activity evoked by sound onset and offset in awake mouse ACX. ACX areas differed in onset responses (On-Rs) and offset responses (Off-Rs). Most excitatory L2/3 neurons show either On-Rs or Off-Rs, and ACX areas are characterized by differing fractions of On and Off-R neurons. Somatostatin and parvalbumin interneurons show distinct temporal dynamics, potentially amplifying Off-Rs. Functional network analysis shows that ACX areas contain distinct parallel onset and offset networks. Thalamic (MGB) terminals show either On-Rs or Off-Rs, indicating a thalamic origin of On and Off-R pathways. Thus, ACX areas spatially represent temporal features, and this representation is created by spatial convergence and co-activation of distinct MGB inputs and is refined by specific intracortical connectivity.

Keywords: MGB; auditory cortex; mouse; pattern; temporal; two-photon imaging.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Interneurons / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Pyramidal Cells / physiology
  • Thalamus / physiology*