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Representations of specific acoustic patterns in the auditory cortex and hippocampus

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Sukhbinder Kumar, Sundeep Teki, Professor Tim GriffithsORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Previous behavioural studies have shown that repeated presentation of a randomly chosen acoustic pattern leads to the unsupervised learning of some of its specific acoustic features. The objective of our study was to determine the neural substrate for the representation of freshly learnt acoustic patterns. Subjects first performed a behavioural task that resulted in the incidental learning of three different noise-like acoustic patterns. During subsequent high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning, subjects were then exposed again to these three learnt patterns and to others that had not been learned. Multi-voxel pattern analysis was used to test if the learnt acoustic patterns could be 'decoded' from the patterns of activity in the auditory cortex and medial temporal lobe. We found that activity in planum temporale and the hippocampus reliably distinguished between the learnt acoustic patterns. Our results demonstrate that these structures are involved in the neural representation of specific acoustic patterns after they have been learnt.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kumar S, Bonnici HM, Teki S, Agus TR, Pressnitzer D, Maguire EA, Griffiths TD

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences

Year: 2014

Volume: 281

Print publication date: 22/09/2014

Acceptance date: 14/07/2014

Date deposited: 07/11/2014

ISSN (print): 0962-8452

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2954

Publisher: Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1000


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Funder referenceFunder name
WT091681MAWellcome Trust
WT084218Wellcome Trust
091681/Z/10/ZWellcome Trust