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J Neural Eng. 2005 Jun;2(2):42-51. Epub 2005 May 31.

Cortical microstimulation in auditory cortex of rat elicits best-frequency dependent behaviors.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125, USA.


Electrical activation of the auditory cortex has been shown to elicit an auditory sensation; however, the perceptual effects of auditory cortical microstimulation delivered through penetrating microelectrodes have not been clearly elucidated. This study examines the relationship between electrical microstimulus location within the adult rat auditory cortex and the subsequent behavior induced. Four rats were trained on an auditory frequency discrimination task and their lever-pressing behavior in response to stimuli of intermediate auditory frequencies was quantified. Each trained rat was then implanted with a microwire array in the auditory cortex of the left hemisphere. Best frequencies (BFs) of each electrode in the array were determined by both local field potential and multi-unit spike-rate activity evoked by pure tone stimuli. A cross-dimensional psychophysical generalization paradigm was used to evaluate cortical microstimulation-induced behavior. Using the BFs of each electrode, the microstimulation-induced behavior was evaluated relative to the auditory-induced behavior. Microstimulation resulted in behavior that was dependent on the BFs of the electrodes used for stimulation. These results are consistent with recent reports indicating that electrophysiological recordings of neural responses to sensory stimuli may provide insight into the sensation generated by electrical stimulation of the same sensory neural tissue.

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