Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The brain has a remarkable capacity to adapt to changes in sensory inputs and to learn from experience. However, the neural circuits responsible for this flexible processing remain poorly understood. Using optogenetic silencing of ArchT-expressing neurons in adult ferrets, we show that within-trial activity in primary auditory cortex (A1) is required for training-dependent recovery in sound-localization accuracy following monaural deprivation. Because localization accuracy under normal-hearing conditions was unaffected, this highlights a specific role for cortical activity in learning. A1-dependent plasticity appears to leave a memory trace that can be retrieved, facilitating adaptation during a second period of monaural deprivation. However, in ferrets in which learning was initially disrupted by perturbing A1 activity, subsequent optogenetic suppression during training no longer affected localization accuracy when one ear was occluded. After the initial learning phase, the reweighting of spatial cues that primarily underpins this plasticity may therefore occur in A1 target neurons.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Acoustic Stimulation, Animals, Auditory Cortex, Female, Ferrets, Learning, Models, Animal, Nerve Net, Neuronal Plasticity, Neurons, Optogenetics, Sound Localization