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Predictable and unpredictable deviance detection in the human hippocampus and amygdala

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Cereb Cortex. 2024 Jan 12:bhad532. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhad532. Online ahead of print.


Our brains extract structure from the environment and form predictions given past experience. Predictive circuits have been identified in wide-spread cortical regions. However, the contribution of medial temporal structures in predictions remains under-explored. The hippocampus underlies sequence detection and is sensitive to novel stimuli, sufficient to gain access to memory, while the amygdala to novelty. Yet, their electrophysiological profiles in detecting predictable and unpredictable deviant auditory events remain unknown. Here, we hypothesized that the hippocampus would be sensitive to predictability, while the amygdala to unexpected deviance. We presented epileptic patients undergoing presurgical monitoring with standard and deviant sounds, in predictable or unpredictable contexts. Onsets of auditory responses and unpredictable deviance effects were detected earlier in the temporal cortex compared with the amygdala and hippocampus. Deviance effects in 1-20 Hz local field potentials were detected in the lateral temporal cortex, irrespective of predictability. The amygdala showed stronger deviance in the unpredictable context. Low-frequency deviance responses in the hippocampus (1-8 Hz) were observed in the predictable but not in the unpredictable context. Our results reveal a distributed network underlying the generation of auditory predictions and suggest that the neural basis of sensory predictions and prediction error signals needs to be extended.

PMID:38216528 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhad532

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