Multi-regional adaptation in human auditory association cortex

Urszula Malinowska, Nathan E. Crone, Frederick A. Lenz, Mackenzie Cervenka, Dana Boatman-Reich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In auditory cortex, neural responses decrease with stimulus repetition, known as adaptation. Adaptation is thought to facilitate detection of novel sounds and improve perception in noisy environments. Although it is well established that adaptation occurs in primary auditory cortex, it is not known whether adaptation also occurs in higher auditory areas involved in processing complex sounds, such as speech. Resolving this issue is important for understanding the neural bases of adaptation and to avoid potential post-operative deficits after temporal lobe surgery for treatment of focal epilepsy. Intracranial electrocorticographic recordings were acquired simultaneously from electrodes implanted in primary and association auditory areas of the right (non-dominant) temporal lobe in a patient with complex partial seizures originating from the inferior parietal lobe. Simple and complex sounds were presented in a passive oddball paradigm. We measured changes in single-trial high-gamma power (70–150 Hz) and in regional and inter-regional network-level activity indexed by cross-frequency coupling. Repetitive tones elicited the greatest adaptation and corresponding increases in cross-frequency coupling in primary auditory cortex. Conversely, auditory association cortex showed stronger adaptation for complex sounds, including speech. This first report of multi-regional adaptation in human auditory cortex highlights the role of the non-dominant temporal lobe in suppressing neural responses to repetitive background sounds (noise). These results underscore the clinical utility of functional mapping to avoid potential post-operative deficits including increased listening difficulties in noisy, real-world environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number247
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - May 9 2017


  • Adaptation
  • Auditory cortex
  • High-gamma
  • Repetition suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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