Our perception of sound is so much more than a copy of the sound waveform entering the ear. “Internal state” variables such as expectation, recent stimulus histories and long-term auditory memories can powerfully shape what we hear and what meaning we take away from it. A major goal for our lab is to understand the neural circuits that support modulation of cortical sound representations by internal state variables. These studies focus on the role of corticothalamic neurons in active listening as well as the contributions of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain to auditory learning.

Corticothalamic contributions to auditory perception
Techniques used:
  • Chronic 2-photon and widefield calcium imaging from genetically defined cortical cell types
  • Optogenetic approaches to activate, silence or "tag" genetically defined cell types
  • Fiber photometry and miniature fluorescence microscopes for deep brain imaging.
  • Behavioral approaches to study associative learning and predictive listening.

Lead researchers:

Supported by:

R01 DC017078, Lauer Tinnitus Research Center