The environment surrounding each of us, is made of myriad of sounds, images or odours, in combinations that are continuously changing, often in predictable ways. Our brain readily detects and learns these patterns, often implicitly, independently of its immediate relevance. This form of learning, known as statistical learning, is essential for basic brain functions such as, for example, the segregation of stimuli into background noise and foreground or the detection of unexpected changes that might predict danger.
Focusing on the auditory system, we study how cortico-subcortical loops detect and code the patterns in the acoustic environment. We use a combination of behavioural paradigms, electrophysiology, and opto- and chemogenetic manipulations.