Sparse coding in temporal association cortex improves complex sound discriminability

L. Feigin, G. Tasaka, I. Maor, A. Mizrahi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The mouse auditory cortex is comprised of several auditory fields spanning the dorsoventral axis of the temporal lobe. The ventral most auditory field is the temporal association cortex (TeA), which remains largely unstudied. Using Neuropixels probes, we simultaneously recorded from primary auditory cortex (AUDp), secondary auditory cortex (AUDv), and TeA, characterizing neuronal responses to pure tones and frequency modulated (FM) sweeps in awake head-restrained female mice. As compared with AUDp and AUDv, single-unit (SU) responses to pure tones in TeA were sparser, delayed, and prolonged. Responses to FMs were also sparser. Population analysis showed that the sparser responses in TeA render it less sensitive to pure tones, yet more sensitive to FMs. When characterizing responses to pure tones under anesthesia, the distinct signature of TeA was changed considerably as compared with that in awake mice, implying that responses in TeA are strongly modulated by non-feedforward connections. Together, these findings provide a basic electrophysiological description of TeA as an integral part of sound processing along the cortical hierarchy.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7048-7064
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number33
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 the authors.


  • Electrophysiology
  • Neuropixels
  • Sounds
  • Tea
  • auditory


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