Send to

Choose Destination
Brain Res. 2005 May 10;1043(1-2):12-23.

Auditory inhibitory gating in the amygdala: single-unit analysis in the behaving rat.

Author information

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Inhibitory sensory gating has been proposed to be a fundamental physiological process that filters neural input. Its temporal properties could allow for a rapid influence on vigilance and attention processes. Inhibitory mechanisms are reflected by reductions in neural responsiveness to repeated and well-predicted stimuli; for auditory gating, this translates into an inhibition of the neural activation to subsequent tone stimuli embedded within sequential and identical tone presentations. Here we expand previous neurophysiological data on inhibitory gating by examining gating in the amygdala using single-unit recording in freely moving animals. Previous data have shown the amygdala to be important in mediating rapid auditory sensory processing involved in emotional conditioning. We measured inhibitory gating with two matching auditory tones presented in a repetitive fashion (10 ms tones, ISI = 500 ms and 10 s between pairs) for 1 h (360 pairs). The majority of the tone responsive units showed inhibitory gating (78/95 units) located in both the medial and lateral subnuclei of the amygdala. Different types of tone responses were gated, including both shorter- and longer-duration excitatory tone responses as well as inhibitory tone responses. Different degrees of gating were found ranging from 100% inhibition (complete gating category) to 25% inhibition (graded gating category). The degree of gating varied over short-term and long-term time intervals. These findings demonstrate the existence of inhibitory gating in the amygdala and provide a detailed description of the basic properties of this rapid neural inhibition that could play an important role in filtering stimulus input.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center