Models of learning-dependent sensory cortex plasticity require local activity and reinforcement. An alternative proposes that neural activity involved in anticipation of a sensory stimulus, or the preparatory set, can direct plasticity so that changes could occur in regions of sensory cortex lacking activity. To test the necessity of target-induced activity for initial sensory learning, we trained rats to detect a low-frequency sound. After learning, Arc expression and physiologically measured neuroplasticity were strong in a high-frequency auditory cortex region with very weak target-induced activity in control animals. After 14 sessions, Arc and neuroplasticity were aligned with target-induced activity. The temporal and topographic correspondence between Arc and neuroplasticity suggests Arc may be intrinsic to the neuroplasticity underlying perceptual learning. Furthermore, not all neuroplasticity could be explained by activity-dependent models but can be explained if the neural activity involved in the preparatory set directs plasticity.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Aug 17 2010|
- Instrumental learning
ASJC Scopus subject areas