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Constructing the hierarchy of predictive auditory sequences in the marmoset brain


Jiang, Yuwei (2022), Constructing the hierarchy of predictive auditory sequences in the marmoset brain, Dryad, Dataset,


Our brains constantly generate predictions of sensory input that are compared with actual inputs, propagate the prediction-errors through a hierarchy of brain regions, and subsequently update the internal predictions of the world. However, the essential feature of predictive coding, the notion of hierarchical depth and its neural mechanisms, remains largely unexplored. Here, we investigated the hierarchical depth of predictive auditory processing by combining functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and high-density whole-brain electrocorticography (ECoG) in marmoset monkeys during an auditory local-global paradigm in which the temporal regularities of the stimuli were designed at two hierarchical levels. The prediction-errors and prediction updates were examined as neural responses to auditory mismatches and omissions. Using fMRI, we identified a hierarchical gradient along the auditory pathway: midbrain and sensory regions represented local, short-time-scale predictive processing followed by associative auditory regions, whereas anterior temporal and prefrontal areas represented global, long-time-scale sequence processing. The complementary ECoG recordings confirmed the activations at cortical surface areas and further differentiated the signals of prediction-error and update, which were transmitted via putatively bottom-up g and top-down b oscillations, respectively. Furthermore, omission responses caused by absence of input, reflecting solely the two levels of prediction signals that are unique to the hierarchical predictive coding framework, demonstrated the hierarchical predictions in the auditory, temporal, and prefrontal areas. Thus, our findings support the hierarchical predictive coding framework, and outline how neural circuits and spatiotemporal dynamics are used to represent and arrange a hierarchical structure of auditory sequences in the marmoset brain.