About this Research Topic
The auditory sensory system processes acoustic signals with exquisite temporal precision. In order to accomplish this task, it utilizes an elaborate network of ascending and local circuits, which is modulated by a multicentric descending system of connections from the auditory cortex to the organ of Corti. This organization generates feedback loops as well as descending polysynaptic chains that exert top-down control of incoming and ascending auditory information.
The descending auditory pathways have been proposed to refine the information extracted from auditory stimuli and recent studies have revealed a key role in processes related to plasticity and learning. In spite of this progress, understanding of even basic principles for spectral and temporal processing of sound are still to be established.
The aim of this Research Topic will focus on the connectivity, synapses, physiology, and plasticity of descending auditory pathways, including the involvement of other sensory modalities or neuromodulatory systems, with the goal to gain new insight on cognitive processing of auditory percepts
Although any contributions aimed at increasing the knowledge about the auditory top-down control in both humans and animals will be welcomed, some examples of
contributions that would fit the scope of this Research Topic could include:
• Tracing studies that further explore the descending auditory projections, as well as studies that link the connectivity and function of these projections
• Neurotransmitters involved in descending control, and interactions with neuromodulatory systems, such as those involving dopamine and acetylcholine
• Novel optogenetic techniques that allow the dissection of these pathways with an unprecedented level of detail.
• Cortical electrical stimulation experiments that show how these potential therapies affect the activity of subcortical auditory centers.
• Physiological and pharmacological studies on how the descending projections refine spectral, temporal, binaural and other types of processing on lower nuclei
• Studies involving the olivocochlear bundle and the efferent control of the cochlear function
• Plasticity in subcortical auditory nuclei evoked by descending projections
• Behavioral studies that show evidence of the function of the descending auditory system.
• Neuroimaging alone or in combination with field recordings maps.
Keywords: Feedback loops, Multisynaptic Chains, Top-Down modulation, Auditory Processing, Connectivity
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.