In this Perspective, Whitmire and Stanley build links between rapid sensory adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry through investigations of differential adaptation effects across brain structures, cell types, and functional classes of neurons.
Abstract: Adaptation is fundamental to life. All organisms adapt over timescales that span from evolution to generations and lifetimes to moment-by-moment interactions. The nervous system is particularly adept at rapidly adapting to change, and this in fact may be one of its fundamental principles of organization and function. Rapid forms of sensory adaptation have been well-documented across all sensory modalities in a wide range of organisms, yet we do not have a comprehensive understanding of the adaptive cellular mechanisms that ultimately give rise to the corresponding percepts due in part to the complexity of the circuitry. In this Perspective, we aim to build links between adaptation at multiple scales of neural circuitry by investigating the differential adaptation across brain regions and sub-regions and across specific cell-types, for which the explosion of modern tools has just begun to enable. This investigation points to a set of challenges for the field to link functional observations to adaptive properties of the neural circuit that ultimately underlie percepts.
For full article: http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(16)30651-1