The auditory novelty system: An attempt to integrate human and animal research

Authors

  • Carles Escera,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior (IR3C), University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    2. Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
    • Address correspondence to: Carles Escera, Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group, Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology, University of Barcelona, P. Vall d'Hebron 171, 08035-Barcelona, Catalonia-Spain. E-mail: cescera@ub.edu or Manuel S. Malmierca, E-mail: msm@usal.es

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  • Manuel S. Malmierca

    1. Auditory Neurophysiology Laboratory, The Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y Leon (INCyL), University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
    2. Department of Cell Biology and Pathology, The Medical School, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
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  • This work was supported by the the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Programa Euroinvestigación-EUI2009-4086) awarded to the ERANET-NEURON Project PANS, the Consolider-Ingenio 2010 program (CDS2007-00012), a grant from the Catalan Government (SGR2009-11), and the ICREA Academia Distinguished Professorship awarded to CE; and by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Grants BFU2009-07286 and EUI2009-04083, in the framework of the ERA-NET Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research) to MSM. We thank Daniel Duque for helping in the design and preparation of Figure 2.

Abstract

In this account, we attempt to integrate two parallel, but thus far, separate lines of research on auditory novelty detection: (1) human studies of EEG recordings of the mismatch negativity (MMN), and (2) animal studies of single-neuron recordings of stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). The studies demonstrating the existence of novelty neurons showing SSA at different levels along the auditory pathway's hierarchy, together with the recent results showing human auditory-evoked potential correlates of deviance detection at very short latencies, that is, at 20–40 ms from change onset, support the view that novelty detection is a key principle that governs the functional organization of the auditory system. Furthermore, the generation of the MMN recorded from the human scalp seems to involve a cascade of neuronal processing that occurs at different successive levels of the auditory system's hierarchy.

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