Corticostriatal Neurons in the Anterior Auditory Field Regulate Frequency Discrimination Behavior

 Zhao‑Qun Wang1 · Hui‑Zhong Wen1 · Tian‑Tian Luo1 · Peng‑Hui Chen1 · Yan‑Dong Zhao1 · Guang‑Yan Wu2 · Ying Xiong1
1 Department of Neurobiology, Chongqing Key Laboratory of Neurobiology, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China 
2 Experimental Center of Basic Medicine, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China


The anterior auditory field (AAF) is a core region of the auditory cortex and plays a vital role in discrimination tasks. However, the role of the AAF corticostriatal neurons in frequency discrimination remains unclear. Here, we used c-Fos staining, fiber photometry recording, and pharmacogenetic manipulation to investigate the function of the AAF corticostriatal neurons in a frequency discrimination task. c-Fos staining and fiber photometry recording revealed that the activity of AAF pyramidal neurons was significantly elevated during the frequency discrimination task. Pharmacogenetic inhibition of AAF pyramidal neurons significantly impaired frequency discrimination. In addition, histological results revealed that AAF pyramidal neurons send strong projections to the striatum. Moreover, pharmacogenetic suppression of the striatal projections from pyramidal neurons in the AAF significantly disrupted the frequency discrimination. Collectively, our findings show that AAF pyramidal neurons, particularly the AAF–striatum projections, play a crucial role in frequency discrimination behavior.

Anterior auditory field; Corticostriatal neuron; Frequency discrimination; AAF–striatum projection