Temporary visual deprivation causes decorrelation of spatiotemporal population responses in adult mouse auditory cortex

Krystyna Solarana, Ji Liu, Zac Bowen, Hey Kyoung Lee, Patrick O. Kanold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Although within-modality sensory plasticity is limited to early developmental periods, cross-modal plasticity can occur even in adults. In vivo electrophysiological studies have shown that transient visual deprivation (dark exposure, DE) in adult mice improves the frequency selectivity and discrimination of neurons in thalamorecipient layer 4 (L4) of primary auditory cortex (A1). Since sound information is processed hierarchically in A1 by populations of neurons, we investigated whether DE alters network activity in A1 L4 and layer 2/3 (L2/3). We examined neuronal populations in both L4 and L2/3 using in vivo two-photon calcium (Ca2+) imaging of transgenic mice expressing GCaMP6s. We find that one week of DE in adult mice increased the sound evoked responses and frequency selectivity of both L4 and L2/3 neurons. Moreover, after DE the frequency representation changed with L4 and L2/3 showing a reduced representation of cells with best frequencies (BFs) between 8 and 16 kHz and an increased representation of cells with BFs above 32 kHz. Cells in L4 and L2/3 showed decreased pairwise signal correlations (SCs) consistent with sharper tuning curves. The decreases in SCs were larger in L4 than in L2/3. The decreased pairwise correlations indicate a sparsification of A1 responses to tonal stimuli. Thus, cross-modal experience in adults can both alter the sound-evoked responses of A1 neurons and change activity correlations within A1 potentially enhancing the encoding of auditory stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberENEURO.0269-19.2019
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Auditory cortex
  • Cross-modal
  • Dark exposure
  • Plasticity
  • Visual deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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