Cendra Agulhon



Conference room R229
Campus Saint Germain des Prés de l'Université de Paris, 45 rue des Saints Pères, Paris 6e


25 Sep 2023


11 h 00 min - 12 h 00 min


INCC Seminar Series

Sensorimotor Interactions Elicit Rapid Predictive Signals in Auditory Cortex, by Yves Boubenec

Sensorimotor Interactions Elicit Rapid Predictive Signals in Auditory Cortex

The precise control of intricate sounds in human speech and animal vocalizations necessitates the coordination of motor and sensory neural processes. To achieve this, predictive processing serves as a mechanism that compares sensory inputs with a generative model predicting the outcomes of environmental actions. This study explores the dynamics of sensorimotor interactions and their influence on the auditory cortex during a complex sensorimotor task. Employing a novel device that synchronizes an animal’s head movements with acoustic feedback frequency, generating self-initiated sounds through closed-loop mechanisms, we investigated this phenomenon.
Two distinct alternating conditions were examined: ‘tracking,’ where sound frequency correlated with the animal’s head position, and ‘playback,’ where such correlation was absent. Comparative analysis revealed a significant reduction in overall neural responses during tracking (closed-loop) as opposed to the playback (open-loop) condition, observed in both primary and secondary auditory cortices. Notably, the suppressive effects were more pronounced in primary auditory regions than in non-primary areas. Furthermore, neural responses to playback tones, when matching the animal head position, exhibited substantial reduction, while responses to non-matching tones displayed modest suppression. These findings suggest an ongoing encoding of the predictability of incoming sensory inputs.
In essence, our study provides compelling evidence underscoring the capacity of sensorimotor interactions to evoke swift and precise predictive signals within the auditory cortex. This sheds light on the intricate mechanisms underlying the coordination of sensory and motor processes for the mastery of complex auditory tasks.

Short Biography
Yves Boubenec obtained a PhD in neuroscience in 2012. At the time, he was working on tactile perception, before exploring auditory neuroscience during his post-doc. Landing a role as an associate professor in the Department of Cognitive Studies at École Normale Supérieure, Yves now heads his own group in the Laboratory of Perceptive Systems. His main research interests are the modulations of sound coding in auditory cortex by attentional processes and learning mechanisms. More at his personal website.

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