Distinct interacting cortical networks for stimulus-response and repetition-suppression

Commun Biol. 2022 Sep 5;5(1):909. doi: 10.1038/s42003-022-03861-4.


Non-invasive studies consider the initial neural stimulus response (SR) and repetition suppression (RS) - the decreased response to repeated sensory stimuli - as engaging the same neurons. That is, RS is a suppression of the SR. We challenge this conjecture using electrocorticographic (ECoG) recordings with high spatial resolution in ten patients listening to task-irrelevant trains of auditory stimuli. SR and RS were indexed by high-frequency activity (HFA) across temporal, parietal, and frontal cortices. HFASR and HFARS were temporally and spatially distinct, with HFARS emerging later than HFASR and showing only a limited spatial intersection with HFASR: most HFASR sites did not demonstrate HFARS, and HFARS was found where no HFASR could be recorded. β activity was enhanced in HFARS compared to HFASR cortical sites. θ activity was enhanced in HFASR compared to HFARS sites. Furthermore, HFASR sites propagated information to HFARS sites via transient θ:β phase-phase coupling. In contrast to predictive coding (PC) accounts our results indicate that HFASR and HFARS are functionally linked but have minimal spatial overlap. HFASR might enable stable and rapid perception of environmental stimuli across extended temporal intervals. In contrast HFARS might support efficient generation of an internal model based on stimulus history.

MeSH terms

  • Auditory Perception* / physiology
  • Electrocorticography
  • Humans
  • Temporal Lobe* / physiology