The auditory system must be able to adapt to changing acoustic environment and still maintain accurate representation of signals. Mechanistically, this is a difficult task because the responsiveness of a large heterogeneous population of interconnected neurons must be adjusted properly and precisely. Synaptic short-term plasticity (STP) is widely regarded as a viable mechanism for adaptive processes. Although the cellular mechanism for STP is well characterized, the overall effect on information processing at the network level is poorly understood. The main challenge is that there are many cell types in auditory cortex, each of which exhibit different forms and degrees of STP. In this article, I will review the basic properties of STP in auditory cortical circuits and discuss the possible impact on signal processing.
from Hearing Research