Effect of Auditory Predictability on the Human Peripheral Auditory System

Lars Riecke*, Irina-Andreea Marianu, Federico De Martino

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Auditory perception is facilitated by prior knowledge about the statistics of the acoustic environment. Predictions about upcoming auditory stimuli are processed at various stages along the human auditory pathway, including the cortex and midbrain. Whether such auditory predictions are processed also at hierarchically lower stages—in the peripheral auditory system—is unclear. To address this question, we assessed outer hair cell (OHC) activity in response to isochronous tone sequences and varied the predictability and behavioral relevance of the individual tones (by manipulating tone-to-tone probabilities and the human participants’ task, respectively). We found that predictability alters the amplitude of distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs, a measure of OHC activity) in a manner that depends on the behavioral relevance of the tones. Simultaneously recorded cortical responses showed a significant effect of both predictability and behavioral relevance of the tones, indicating that their experimental manipulations were effective in central auditory processing stages. Our results provide evidence for a top-down effect on the processing of auditory predictability in the human peripheral auditory system, in line with previous studies showing peripheral effects of auditory attention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number362
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • auditory attention
  • auditory efferent
  • prediction
  • expectancy
  • cochlea
  • electroencephalography
  • otoacoustic emission
  • EVOKED OTOACOUSTIC EMISSIONS
  • ACTIVE MICROMECHANICAL PROPERTIES
  • SELECTIVE ATTENTION
  • CONTRALATERAL SUPPRESSION
  • CORTICOFUGAL MODULATION
  • OLIVOCOCHLEAR EFFERENTS
  • COCHLEAR SENSITIVITY
  • NARROW-BAND
  • RESPONSES
  • STIMULATION

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