Wednesday, May 19 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm
My lab studies the neural circuitry mechanisms underlying the transformation of auditory cues into motor action. The auditory striatum, a posterior sub-region of the dorsal striatum, plays an essential role in auditory decision-making and learning. We are examining contributions of its input and output circuitry in auditory behaviors. The auditory striatum receives convergent projections from both auditory thalamus and auditory cortex. In a recent study we revealed that projections from the medial geniculate body mainly function as a gain controller, whereas those from the primary auditory cortex provide frequency-tuning information for striatal sound representations. Upon revealing the role of cortical and thalamic inputs to the auditory striatum, we began to investigate its outputs. We focused on the zona incerta, a subcortical nucleus that receives direct innervation from the auditory striatum, and identified how neuronal activity in the zona incerta associated with sound stimuli could lead to motor responses/behavioral actions.