The Effects of Adaptation on Neural Coding by Primary Sensory Interneurons in the Cricket cercal system. Clague, Heather, Fr[acute]ed[acute]eric Theunissen and John P. Miller. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Ca. 94720.
APStracts 3:0241N, 1996.
Methods of stochastic systems analysis were applied to examine the effect of adaptation on frequency encoding by two functionally identical primary interneurons of the cricket cercal system. Stimulus reconstructions were obtained from a linear filtering transformation of spike trains elicited in response to bursts of broadband white noise air current stimuli (5-400 Hz). Each linear reconstruction was compared to the actual stimulus in the frequency domain to obtain a measure of waveform coding accuracy as a function of frequency. The term adaptation in this paper refers to the decrease in firing rate of a cell after the onset or increase in power of a white noise stimulus. The increase in firing rate after stimulus offset or decrease in stimulus power is assumed to be a complementary aspect of the same phenomenon. As the spike rate decreased during the course of adaptation, the total amount of information carried about the velocity waveform of the stimulus also decreased. The quality of coding of frequencies between 70-400 Hz decreased dramatically. The quality of coding of frequencies between 5-70 Hz decreased only slightly or even increased in some cases. The disproportionate loss of information about the higher frequencies could be attributed in part to the more rapid loss of spikes correlated with high frequency stimulus components than of spikes correlated with low frequency components. An increase in the responsiveness of a cell to frequencies above 70 Hz was correlated with a decrease in the ability of that cell to encode frequencies in the 5-70 Hz range. This non-linear property could explain the improvement seen in some cases in the coding accuracy of frequencies between 5-70 Hz during the course of adaptation. Waveform coding properties were also characterized for fully adapted neurons at several stimulus intensities. The changes in coding observed through the course of adaptation were similar in nature to those found across stimulus powers. These changes could largely be accounted for by a change in neural sensitivity. The effect of adaptation on the coding of stimulus power was examined by measuring the response curves to steps in stimulus power before and after exposure to an adapting stimulus. Adaptation caused a loss of information about the mean stimulus power, but did not cause any improvement in the coding of changes in stimulus power. The unadapted response of the cells did not show any saturation even at the highest powers used in these experiments.

Received 13 February 1996; accepted in final form 19 September 1996.
APS Manuscript Number J116-6.
Article publication pending J. Neurophysiol.
ISSN 1080-4757 Copyright 1996 The American Physiological Society.
Published in APStracts on 5 November 1996