Arousal State-Dependence of Interactions Between Short- and Long-Term Auditory Novelty Responses in Human Subjects

Kirill V. Nourski, Mitchell Steinschneider, Ariane E. Rhone, Rashmi N. Mueller, Hiroto Kawasaki, Matthew I. Banks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In everyday life, predictable sensory stimuli are generally not ecologically informative. By contrast, novel or unexpected stimuli signal ecologically salient changes in the environment. This idea forms the basis of the predictive coding hypothesis: efficient sensory encoding minimizes neural activity associated with predictable backgrounds and emphasizes detection of changes in the environment. In real life, the brain must resolve multiple unexpected sensory events occurring over different time scales. The local/global deviant experimental paradigm examines auditory predictive coding over multiple time scales. For short-term novelty [hundreds of milliseconds; local deviance (LD)], sequences of identical sounds (/xxxxx/) are interspersed with sequences that contain deviants (/xxxxy/). Long-term novelty [several seconds; global deviance (GD)] is created using either (a) frequent /xxxxx/ and infrequent /xxxxy/ sequences, or (b) frequent /xxxxy/ and infrequent /xxxxx/ sequences. In scenario (a), there is both an LD and a GD effect (LDGD, “double surprise”). In (b), the global deviant is a local standard, i.e., sequence of identical sounds (LSGD). Cortical responses reflecting LD and GD originate in different brain areas, have a different time course, and are differentially sensitive to general anesthesia. Neural processes underlying LD and GD have been shown to interact, reflecting overlapping networks subserving the detection of novel auditory stimuli. This study examined these interactions using intracranial electroencephalography in neurosurgical patients. Subjects performed a GD target detection task before and during induction of anesthesia with propofol. Recordings were made from the auditory cortex, surrounding auditory-related and prefrontal cortex in awake, sedated, and unresponsive states. High gamma activity was used to measure the neural basis of local-by-global novelty interactions. Positive interaction was defined as a greater response to the double surprise LDGD condition compared to LSGD. Negative interaction was defined as a weaker response to LDGD. Positive interaction was more frequent than negative interaction and was primarily found in auditory cortex. Negative interaction typically occurred in prefrontal cortex and was more sensitive to general anesthesia. Temporo-parietal auditory-related areas exhibited both types of interaction. These interactions may have relevance in a clinical setting as biomarkers of conscious perception in the assessment of depth of anesthesia and disorders of consciousness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number737230
JournalFrontiers in Human Neuroscience
StatePublished - Oct 1 2021


  • auditory cortex
  • consciousness
  • general anesthesia
  • high gamma
  • iEEG
  • local/global deviant
  • predictive coding
  • propofol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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