Electrophysiological evidence for change detection in speech sound patterns by anesthetized rats
Astikainen, P., Mällo, T., Ruusuvirta, T., & Näätänen, R. (2014). Electrophysiological evidence for change detection in speech sound patterns by anesthetized rats. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8 (November), 374. doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00374
Published inFrontiers in Neuroscience
© 2014 Author.
Human infants are able to detect changes in grammatical rules in a speech sound stream. Here, we tested whether rats have a comparable ability by using an electrophysiological measure that has been shown to reflect higher order auditory cognition even before it becomes manifested in behavioral level. Urethane-anesthetized rats were presented with a stream of sequences consisting of three pseudowords carried out at a fast pace. Frequently presented “standard” sequences had 16 variants which all had the same structure. They were occasionally replaced by acoustically novel “deviant” sequences of two different types: structurally consistent and inconsistent sequences. Two stimulus conditions were presented for separate animal groups. In one stimulus condition, the standard and the pattern-obeying deviant sequences had an AAB structure, while the pattern-violating deviant sequences had an ABB structure. In the other stimulus condition, these assignments were reversed. During the stimulus presentation, local-field potentials were recorded from the dura, above the auditory cortex. Two temporally separate differential brain responses to the deviant sequences reflected the detection of the deviant speech sound sequences. The first response was elicited by both types of deviant sequences and reflected most probably their acoustical novelty. The second response was elicited specifically by the structurally inconsistent deviant sequences (pattern-violating deviant sequences), suggesting that rats were able to detect changes in the pattern of three-syllabic speech sound sequence (i.e., location of the reduplication of an element in the sequence). Since all the deviant sound sequences were constructed of novel items, our findings indicate that, similarly to the human brain, the rat brain has the ability to automatically generalize extracted structural information to new items. ...
PublisherFrontiers Research Foundation