Acoustic context: relevant or not, if predictable, we code it

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Acoustic contexts – the sounds that characterize a space or an event- are rich in information. Our auditory systems readily detect and learn the acoustic context, often implicitly, and use it to build expectations that facilitate change detection, or background suppression. We know little about where and how in the brain this learning takes place. Using neuronal activity recorded from subcortical and cortical stations in the auditory system of mice exposed to predictable and unpredictable sound contexts, I will illustrate how sensitive the auditory system is to predictability in the surrounding acoustic context, whether this has the form of a passive sound stream or an interactive environment.