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Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders$
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Jos J. Eggermont

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198719090

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719090.001.0001

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Adaptation and forward masking

Adaptation and forward masking

Chapter:
(p.44) Chapter 3 Adaptation and forward masking
Source:
Auditory Temporal Processing and its Disorders
Author(s):

Jos Eggerrmont

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198719090.003.0003

Adaptation comes in many forms such as perstimulatory firing rate decrease and stimulus-specific adaptation. The perstimulatory decrease in firing rate from the onset response is largely based on the depletion of available presynaptic transmitter and/or the occupation and liberation of post-synaptic receptors. Several processes with different time-constants ranging from milliseconds to seconds play a role. In the auditory periphery the most important processes are mechano-receptor adaptation (only for low-frequencies) synaptic depression and spike refractoriness. Typically the most obvious time constant is in the 15–50 ms range and results in the decrease to a quasi steady-state at 100–200 ms after sound onset. The recovery from this adapted state takes place with a larger time constant, and basically describes the amount of forward masking produced by the sound burst on a test stimulus as a function of the delay after the masker offset. In the simplest model the adaptation time constant, the level of the steady state firing rate and the recovery time constant are inter related. In auditory cortex post-synaptic inhibition also contributes for the first 100 ms after a stimulus, but the longer lasting synaptic depression plays a more dominant role. Time constants are species specific and appear to be much longer in humans compared to rodents and cats. Stimulus-specific adaptation presents itself as a larger response for a stimulus with lower probability inserted in a series of more common stimuli. Dynamic range adaptation is co-occurring with firing rate adaptation and with similar time constants. In psychoacoustics forward masking and other temporal phenomena are typically explained by integration over a temporal window.

Keywords:   adaptation, forward masking, stimulus-specific adaptation, synaptic depression, temporal integration window, electrophysiology

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