We study the role of subcortico-cortical loops in statistical learning (learning of patterns embedded in the surrounding stimuli, simply because they are there independently of reward) and sensory perception. We focus on the auditory system and use electrophysiological, optogenetic and chemogenetic techniques in combination with behavioural paradigms. We investigate three main and related questions:

  • What are the mechanisms underlying the coding of predictable and unpredictable sounds in the auditory system

  • How does sensory gating take place, specifically during sleep

  • How are novel sounds interpreted depending on previous experience.