Natan, Ryan

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  • Publication
    Cortical Mechanisms Of Adaptation In Auditory Processing
    (2017-01-01) Natan, Ryan
    Adaptation is computational strategy that underlies sensory nervous systems’ ability to accurately encode stimuli in various and dynamic contexts and shapes how animals perceive their environment. Many questions remain concerning how adaptation adjusts to particular stimulus features and its underlying mechanisms. In Chapter 2, we tested how neurons in the primary auditory cortex adapt to changes in stimulus temporal correlation. We used chronically implanted tetrodes to record neuronal spiking in rat primary auditory cortex during exposure to custom made dynamic random chord stimuli exhibiting different levels of temporal correlation. We estimated linear non-linear model for each neuron at each temporal correlation level, finding that neurons compensate for temporal correlation changes through gain-control adaptation. This experiment extends our understanding of how complex stimulus statistics are encoded in the auditory nervous system. In Chapter 3 and 4, we tested how interneurons are involved in adaptation by optogenetically suppressing parvalbumin-positive (PV) and somatostatin-positive (SOM) interneurons during tone train stimuli and using silicon probes to record neuronal spiking in mouse primary auditory cortex. In Chapter 3, we found that inhibition from both PVs and SOMs contributes to stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) through different mechanisms. SOM inhibition was stimulus-specific, suppressing responses to standard tones more strongly than responses to deviant tones, and increasing with standard tone repetition. PVs amplified SSA because inhibition was similar for standard and deviant tones and PV mediated inhibition was insensitive to tone repetition. PVs and SOMs themselves exhibit SSA, and a Wilson-Cowan dynamic model identified that PVs and SOMs can directly contribute to SSA in pyramidal neurons. In Chapter 4, we tested how SOMs and PVs inhibition is modulated with the dynamics of adaptation and across frequency tuning, during exposure to single frequency tone trains across the neuron’s tuning curve. We found that the magnitude of SOM inhibition correlated with the magnitude of adaptive suppression, while PVs inhibition was largely insensitive to stimulus conditions. Together Chapters 3 and 4 implicate SOM inhibition in actively suppressing responses in a stimulus-specific manner while PV inhibition may passively enhance stimulus-specific suppression. These experiments inform the underlying principles and mechanisms of cortical sensory adaptation.
  • Publication
    Complementary Control of Sensory Adaptation by Two Types of Cortical Interneurons
    (2015-10-13) Natan, Ryan G; Briguglio, John J; Aizenberg, Mark; Mwilambwe-Tshilobo, Laetitia; Jones, Sara I; Geffen, Maria N; Goldberg, Ethan M
    Reliably detecting unexpected sounds is important for environmental awareness and survival. By selectively reducing responses to frequently, but not rarely, occurring sounds, auditory cortical neurons are thought to enhance the brain's ability to detect unexpected events through stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). The majority of neurons in the primary auditory cortex exhibit SSA, yet little is known about the underlying cortical circuits. We found that two types of cortical interneurons differentially amplify SSA in putative excitatory neurons. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) amplify SSA by providing non-specific inhibition: optogenetic suppression of PVs led to an equal increase in responses to frequent and rare tones. In contrast, somatostatin-positive interneurons (SOMs) selectively reduce excitatory responses to frequent tones: suppression of SOMs led to an increase in responses to frequent, but not to rare tones. A mutually coupled excitatory-inhibitory network model accounts for distinct mechanisms by which cortical inhibitory neurons enhance the brain's sensitivity to unexpected sounds.