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.

Neuronal activity was established in the auditory pathways in relation to behavioural response and cognitive information processing during a sensory-motor acoustic learning. Rats were trained in three consecutive phases. The first phase was an association between an auditory stimulus and a food reward; the second phase a simple discrimination between two sounds of different frequency components, and the third phase a more complex discrimination involving both spectral and spatial sound dimensions. Auditory stimuli were bursts of complex sounds lasting 500 ms. Neuronal activity related to the behaviourally relevant stimuli was established in 20 "learning" rats undergoing this protocol, which were progressively sacrificed at the beginning, middle and end of each phase. For comparison, activity was also established in four "control" rats exposed to the same stimuli delivered pseudo-randomly, thus carrying no behavioural meaning. Neuronal activity was assessed immunocytochemically using the functional marker Fos. To establish a baseline, two rats were unexposed to controlled acoustic stimulation ("unstimulated" rats). In the superior olivary complex (SOC), inferior colliculus (IC) and medial geniculate body (MGB), the number of Fos-like immunopositive cells was comparable in "learning" and "control" animals, but higher than in the "unstimulated" rats. In the auditory cortex (AC), most prominently in the secondary area Te2, the number of Fos-like positive cells differed between "learning" and "control" rats, suggesting that the auditory cortical areas may be involved in the encoding of the behavioural significance of the acoustic stimuli.

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Res

Publication Date





170 - 183


Acoustic Stimulation, Animals, Auditory Pathways, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, fos, Geniculate Bodies, Inferior Colliculi, Learning, Male, Neurons, Olivary Nucleus, Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos, Psychomotor Performance, Rats, Rats, Long-Evans, Reference Values, Time Factors