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J Comp Physiol A. 1997 Aug;181(2):161-76.

Neural correlates of behavioral gap detection in the inferior colliculus of the young CBA mouse.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, NY 14642-8629, USA. jpw@mother.ent.rochester.edu


The gap detection paradigm is frequently used in psychoacoustics to characterize the temporal acuity of the auditory system. Neural responses to silent gaps embedded in white-noise carriers, were obtained from mouse inferior colliculus (IC) neurons and the results compared to behavioral estimates of gap detection. Neural correlates of gap detection were obtained from 78 single neurons located in the central nucleus of the IC. Minimal gap thresholds (MGTs) were computed from single-unit gap functions and were found to be comparable, 1-2 ms, to the behavioral gap threshold (2 ms). There was no difference in MGTs for units in which both carrier intensities were collected. Single unit responses were classified based on temporal discharge patterns to steady-state noise bursts. Onset and primary-like units had the shortest mean MGTs (2.0 ms), followed by sustained units (4.0 ms) and phasic-off units (4.2 ms). The longest MGTs were obtained for inhibitory neurons (x = 14 ms). Finally, the time-course of behavioral and neurophysiological gap functions were found to be in good agreement. The results of the present study indicate the neural code necessary for behavioral gap detection is present in the temporal discharge patterns of the majority of IC neurons.

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