Habituation, Familiarity and Novelty Detection in the Auditory System: Assays to Interrogate Mechanisms of Cognition and Dysfunction in Neuro-developmental Disorder

Dr. Samuel Cooke (primary)
Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
King's College London
Dr. Daniel Bendor (secondary)
Experimental Psychology
University College London


Habituation is a pervasive form of learning that acts as a gateway to cognition, reducing response to inconsequential elements of the environment. Failure of habituation drastically impedes selective attention to meaningful stimuli and events, which is frequently observed in neurodevelopmental psychiatric disorders. Surprisingly, for such a fundamental process, which is equally important to humans and mice, there has not been sufficient research conducted into underlying mechanisms. In this project, the PhD student will gain fundamental insight in mice into basic processes of auditory habituation and how dysfunction may act as an origin for cognitive deficits in psychiatric disorders.


Cooke S.F. and Ramaswami M. (2020) Ignoring the Innocuous: The Neural Mechanisms of Habituation. The Cognitive Neurosciences (textbook): 6th Edition. Chapter 17. P.197-206.

Kaplan, E.S., Cooke, S.F., et al., (2016) Contrasting roles for parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory neurons in two forms of adult visual cortical plasticity. Elife. 5. e11450.

Cooke, S.F., et al., (2015) Visual recognition memory, manifested as long-term habituation, requires synaptic plasticity in V1. Nature Neuroscience. 18(2): p. 262-71.

Bendor D (2015) The Role of Inhibition in a Computational Model of an Auditory Cortical Neuron during the Encoding of Temporal Information. PLoS Computational Biology. 11(4): e1004197.

Bendor D and Wang X. (2005) The neuronal representation of pitch in primate auditory cortex. Nature. 436: 11615.

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