Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 26628563
Cereb. Cortex 2017 Jan;27(1):863-876
Stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA) to repetitive stimulation has been proposed to separate behaviorally relevant features from a stream of continuous sensory information. However, the exact mechanisms giving rise to SSA and cortical deviance detection are not well understood. We therefore used an oddball paradigm and multicontact electrodes to characterize single-neuron and local field potential responses to various deviant stimuli across the rat somatosensory cortex. Changing different single-whisker stimulus features evoked robust SSA in individual cortical neurons over a wide range of stimulus repetition rates (0.25-80 Hz). Notably, SSA was weakest in the granular input layer and significantly stronger in the supra- and infragranular layers, suggesting that a major part of SSA is generated within cortex. Moreover, we found a small subset of neurons in the granular layer with a deviant-specific late response, occurring roughly 200 ms after stimulus offset. This late deviant response exhibited true-deviance detection properties that were not explained by depression of sensory inputs. Our results show that deviant responses are actively amplified within cortex and contain an additional late component that is sensitive for context-specific sensory deviations. This strongly implicates deviance detection as a feature of intracortical stimulus processing beyond simple sensory input depression.