The role of cortical feedback during auditory perception in a mouse model of autism

  • Awarded: 2021
  • Award Type: Pilot
  • Award #: 896869

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) perceive and experience the world differently than neurotypical individuals. Specifically, it is well established that people with ASD show atypical usage of contextual information, including sensory, cognitive and social. However, a unifying neural mechanism underlying these phenomena remains unknown.

Adi Mizrahi in collaboration with Merav Ahissar proposes a novel mechanism for the atypical use of perceptual context in autism. Namely, they hypothesize that the development and function of cortical feedback, which underlies the use of contextual information, plays a key role in ASD. Mizrahi’s team plans to study ASD through the prism of perceptual learning and behavioral biases (response bias and perceptual bias) and test the involvement of cortical feedback to the auditory system in these processes. Their experimental approach will involve testing developing and adult 16p11.2 deletion mice, a well-characterized mouse model of ASD.

In summary, these experiments will assess perceptual learning and behavioral biases in a mouse model of ASD and test a novel brain mechanism suggested to underly perceptual atypicalities in ASD.

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