Learning-induced biases in the ongoing dynamics of sensory representations predict stimulus generalization

Dominik F. Aschauer, Jens Bastian Eppler, Luke Ewig, Anna R. Chambers, Christoph Pokorny, Matthias Kaschube, Simon Rumpel*

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


Sensory stimuli have long been thought to be represented in the brain as activity patterns of specific neuronal assemblies. However, we still know relatively little about the long-term dynamics of sensory representations. Using chronic in vivo calcium imaging in the mouse auditory cortex, we find that sensory representations undergo continuous recombination, even under behaviorally stable conditions. Auditory cued fear conditioning introduces a bias into these ongoing dynamics, resulting in a long-lasting increase in the number of stimuli activating the same subset of neurons. This plasticity is specific for stimuli sharing representational similarity to the conditioned sound prior to conditioning and predicts behaviorally observed stimulus generalization. Our findings demonstrate that learning-induced plasticity leading to a representational linkage between the conditioned stimulus and non-conditioned stimuli weaves into ongoing dynamics of the brain rather than acting on an otherwise static substrate.

FachzeitschriftCell Reports
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 8 Feb. 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemie, Genetik und Molekularbiologie (insg.)


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