Power-law dynamics in an auditory-nerve model can account for neural adaptation to sound-level statistics. Academic Article uri icon


  • Neurons in the auditory system respond to recent stimulus-level history by adapting their response functions according to the statistics of the stimulus, partially alleviating the so-called "dynamic-range problem." However, the mechanism and source of this adaptation along the auditory pathway remain unknown. Inclusion of power-law dynamics in a phenomenological model of the inner hair cell (IHC)-auditory nerve (AN) synapse successfully explained neural adaptation to sound-level statistics, including the time course of adaptation of the mean firing rate and changes in the dynamic range observed in AN responses. A direct comparison between model responses to a dynamic stimulus and to an "inversely gated" static background suggested that AN dynamic-range adaptation largely results from the adaptation produced by the response history. These results support the hypothesis that the potential mechanism underlying the dynamic-range adaptation observed at the level of the auditory nerve is located peripheral to the spike generation mechanism and central to the IHC receptor potential.

published proceedings

  • J Neurosci

author list (cited authors)

  • Zilany, M., & Carney, L. H.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Zilany, Muhammad SA||Carney, Laurel H

publication date

  • August 2010