Multiple timescales account for adaptive responses across sensory cortices

Kenneth W. Latimer, Dylan Barbera, Michael Sokoletsky, Bshara Awwad, Yonatan Katz, Israel Nelken, Ilan Lampl, Adriene L. Fairhall, Nicholas J. Priebe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Sensory systems encounter remarkably diverse stimuli in the external environment. Natural stimuli exhibit timescales and amplitudes of variation that span a wide range. Mechanisms of adaptation, a ubiquitous feature of sensory systems, allow for the accommodation of this range of scales. Are there common rules of adaptation across different sensory modalities? We measured the membrane potential responses of individual neurons in the visual, somatosensory, and auditory cortices of male and female mice to discrete, punctate stimuli delivered at a wide range of fixed and nonfixed frequencies. We find that the adaptive profile of the response is largely preserved across these three areas, exhibiting attenuation and responses to the cessation of stimulation, which are signatures of response to changes in stimulus statistics. We demonstrate that these adaptive responses can emerge from a simple model based on the integration of fixed filters operating over multiple time scales.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10019-10033
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number50
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 the authors


  • Adaptation
  • Auditory cortex
  • Neural coding
  • Somatosensory cortex
  • Visual cortex


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