An Integrative Model of Subcortical Auditory Plasticity
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In direct conflict with the concept of auditory brainstem nuclei as passive relay stations for behaviorally-relevant signals, recent studies have demonstrated plasticity of the auditory signal in the brainstem. In this paper we provide an overview of the forms of plasticity evidenced in subcortical auditory regions. We posit an integrative model of auditory plasticity, which argues for a continuous, online modulation of bottom-up signals via corticofugal pathways, based on an algorithm that anticipates and updates incoming stimulus regularities. We discuss the negative implications of plasticity in clinical dysfunction and propose novel methods of eliciting brainstem responses that could specify the biological nature of auditory processing deficits.
KeywordsPredictive coding ABR Stimulus-specific adaptation Auditory Plasticity
The authors would like to thank members of the SoundBrain Lab and the Auditory Neuroscience Lab for their valuable comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant R01 DC008333.
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