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The brain's capacity to adapt to sensory inputs is key for processing sensory information efficiently and interacting in new environments. Following repeated exposure to the same sensory input, brain activity in sensory areas is known to decrease as inputs become familiar, a process known as adaptation. Yet, the brain-wide mechanisms that mediate adaptive processing remain largely unknown. Here, we combine multimodal brain imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI], magnetic resonance spectroscopy) with behavioral measures of orientation-specific adaptation (i.e., tilt aftereffect) to investigate the functional and neurochemical mechanisms that support adaptive processing. Our results reveal two functional brain networks: 1) a sensory-adaptation network including occipital and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex regions that show decreased fMRI responses for repeated stimuli and 2) a perceptual-memory network including regions in the parietal memory network (PMN) and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex that relate to perceptual bias (i.e., tilt aftereffect). We demonstrate that adaptation relates to increased occipito-parietal connectivity, while decreased connectivity between sensory-adaptation and perceptual-memory networks relates to GABAergic inhibition in the PMN. Thus, our findings provide evidence that suppressive interactions between sensory-adaptation (i.e., occipito-parietal) and perceptual-memory (i.e., PMN) networks support adaptive processing and behavior, proposing a key role of memory systems in efficient sensory processing.

Original publication




Journal article


Cereb Cortex

Publication Date





5319 - 5330


GABAergic inhibition, adaptation, fMRI, functional connectivity, repetition suppression, Adaptation, Psychological, Brain, Brain Mapping, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Prefrontal Cortex