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J Neurosci. 2002 Sep 1;22(17):7671-9.

Developmental changes underlying the formation of the specialized time coding circuits in barn owls (Tyto alba).

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1
Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA.

Abstract

Barn owls are capable of great accuracy in detecting the interaural time differences (ITDs) that underlie azimuthal sound localization. They compute ITDs in a circuit in nucleus laminaris (NL) that is reorganized with respect to birds like the chicken. The events that lead to the reorganization of the barn owl NL take place during embryonic development, shortly after the cochlear and laminaris nuclei have differentiated morphologically. At first the developing owl's auditory brainstem exhibits morphology reminiscent of that of the developing chicken. Later, the two systems diverge, and the owl's brainstem auditory nuclei undergo a secondary morphogenetic phase during which NL dendrites retract, the laminar organization is lost, and synapses are redistributed. These events lead to the restructuring of the ITD coding circuit and the consequent reorganization of the hindbrain map of ITDs and azimuthal space.

PMID:
12196590
PMCID:
PMC3260528
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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