Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 224, Issue 5, pp 1753–1766 | Cite as

Integrative stimulus-specific adaptation of the natural sounds in the auditory cortex of the awake rat

  • Yu-Ying Zhai
  • Zhi-Hai Sun
  • Yu-Mei Gong
  • Yi Tang
  • Xiongjie YuEmail author
Original Article


Using oddball stimulus with pure tones, researchers have extensively investigated stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA), which has been regarded as a method of novelty detection, from the inferior colliculus (IC) to the auditory cortex (AC). However, until now, it is not clear whether SSA is preserved for natural sounds or whether it exists for spatial cues in the AC. Moreover, it is also unclear whether SSA integrates different types of cues within a single modality such as sound location and sound identity. Here, we addressed these issues using two natural sounds presented at two different locations while simultaneously performing extracellular recordings in the AC of awake rats. Our data showed that SSA was present in the AC for the natural sounds, the pure tones, and the spatial locations in the neuronal population. We also found that the AC response to a double deviant stimulus (a deviant sound at a deviant location) was stronger than that to a single (either a deviant sound or the same sound at a deviant location); this finding suggests that detecting unexpected events benefits from the integration of different cues within the same modality.


Stimulus-specific adaptation Auditory cortex Novelty detection Natural sounds 



Stimulus-specific adaptation


Auditory cortex


Inferior colliculus


Primary auditory cortex


Anterior auditory filed


Characteristic frequencies


Frequency response area


Integrative oddball paradigm


Sound comparison oddball




Common stimulus-specific index


Double-identity index


Double-spatial index


Peri-stimulus time histograms


Double deviant


Single identity deviant


Single spatial deviant


Author contributions

All authors contributed to the final version of the manuscript. XY designed the experiments and analyzed and interpreted the data; YYZ, ZHS, YMG, and YT collected and analyzed the data. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.


All experiments were supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31671081).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution (ZJU20160246).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurology of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Interdisciplinary Institute of Neuroscience and Technology of Qiushi Academy for Advanced Studies, College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrument ScienceZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Information and EngineeringHangzhou Dianzi UniversityHangzhouChina

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