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Hear Res. 2000 Dec;150(1-2):161-74.

Bicuculline application affects discharge patterns, rate-intensity functions, and frequency tuning characteristics of bat auditory cortical neurons.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65211, USA.


This study examined the effect of bicuculline application on the auditory response properties in the auditory cortex of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus. All auditory cortical neurons studied discharged either 1-2 or 3-7 impulses to 4 ms sound stimuli. Cortical neurons with high best frequencies tended to have high minimum thresholds. Bicuculline application increased the number of impulses and shortened the response latencies of all cortical neurons as well as changing the discharge patterns of half of the cortical neurons studied. Bicuculline application raised the rate-intensity functions but lowered the latency-intensity functions to varying degrees. Threshold-frequency tuning curves (FTCs) were either V-shaped, upper threshold or double-peaked. Threshold-FTCs and impulse-FTCs were mirror-images of each other. Bicuculline application expanded and raised the impulse-FTCs but lowered the threshold-FTCs, resulting in significantly decreased Q(n) values. Threshold-FTCs of cortical neurons determined within an orthogonally inserted electrode were very similar and expanded FTCs during bicuculline application were also very similar. Possible mechanisms for the contribution of GABAergic inhibition to shaping these response properties of cortical neurons are discussed.

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