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  • 1
    In: Cerebral Cortex, 2018, Vol. 28(12), pp.4222-4233
    Description: Despite many behavioral and neuroimaging investigations, it remains unclear how the human cortex represents spectrotemporal sound features during auditory imagery, and how this representation compares to auditory perception. To assess this, we recorded electrocorticographic signals from an epileptic patient with proficient music ability in 2 conditions. First, the participant played 2 piano pieces on an electronic piano with the sound volume of the digital keyboard on. Second, the participant replayed the same piano pieces, but without auditory feedback, and the participant was asked to imagine hearing the music in his mind. In both conditions, the sound output of the keyboard was recorded, thus allowing precise time-locking between the neural activity and the spectrotemporal content of the music imagery. This novel task design provided a unique opportunity to apply receptive field modeling techniques to quantitatively study neural encoding during auditory mental imagery. In both conditions, we built encoding models to predict high gamma neural activity (70–150 Hz) from the spectrogram representation of the recorded sound. We found robust spectrotemporal receptive fields during auditory imagery with substantial, but not complete overlap in frequency tuning and cortical location compared to receptive fields measured during auditory perception.
    Keywords: Auditory Cortex ; Electrocorticography ; Frequency Tuning ; Spectrotemporal Receptive Fields
    ISSN: 1047-3211
    E-ISSN: 1460-2199
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  • 2
    In: SLEEP, 2018, Vol. 42(4)
    Description: Animals and humans spend on average one third of their lives in sleep, but its functions remain to be specified. Distinct lines of research propose that sleep promotes local strengthening of information-bearing synapses (plasticity) and global downscaling of synaptic strength (stability) in neural networks—prerequisites for adaptive behavior in a changing environment. However, the potential orchestration of these processes, particularly in humans, needs to be further characterized. Here, we use electrophysiological, behavioral, and molecular indices to noninvasively study cortical plasticity and network stability in humans. We observe indices of local strengthening of prior induced long-term potentiation-like plasticity (paired associative stimulation induced change in motor-evoked potential) and global network stabilization (homeostatic regulation of wake EEG theta activity) after brief periods of nonrapid eye movement sleep compared with wakefulness. The interplay of local sleep slow oscillations and spindle activity, previously related to synaptic refinements during sleep, is identified as a potential mechanism. Our findings are consistent with the notion that sleep-specific brain activity patterns reduce the plasticity–stability dilemma by orchestrating local plasticity and global stability of neural assemblies in the human cortex. Future studies are needed to further decipher the neural mechanisms underlying our indirect observations.
    Keywords: Sleep ; Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation ; Paired Associative Stimulation ; Electroencephalography ; Cortical Plasticity ; Ltp ; Slow - Wave Activity ; Sleep Spindles ; Phase - Amplitude Coupling
    ISSN: 0161-8105
    E-ISSN: 1550-9109
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