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Microsc Res Tech. 2000 Nov 15;51(4):330-54.

Afferent projections of the superior olivary complex.

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1
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73190, USA. ann-thompson@ouhsc.edu

Abstract

Based on current literature, the afferents of the superior olivary complex (SOC) are described including those from the cochlear nucleus, inferior colliculus, thalamus, and auditory cortex. Intrinsic SOC afferents and non-auditory afferents from the serotoninergic and noradrenergic systems are also described. New data are provided that show a differential distribution of serotoninergic afferents within the SOC: serotoninergic fibers were relatively sparse in the lateral and medial superior olives and the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body and were most numerous in periolivary regions. There are variations in the density of serotoninergic fibers within periolivary regions themselves. New data is also provided on auditory and non-auditory afferents to SOC neurons, which have known targets. These include: cochlear nucleus afferents to periolivary (lateral nucleus of the trapezoid body, LNTB) cells that project to the inferior colliculus; cortical afferents to periolivary (ventral nucleus of the trapezoid body, VNTB) cells that project to the cochlear nucleus; and serotoninergic and noradrenergic afferents to periolivary (LNTB and VNTB) cells that project to the cochlear nucleus. The relationships between other types of afferents and SOC neurons with known projections are also described as functional circuits. The circuits include those that are part of the ascending auditory system (to the inferior and superior colliculi, lateral lemniscus, and medial geniculate nucleus), the descending auditory system (to the cochlea and cochlear nucleus), and the middle ear reflex circuits.

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