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Hear Res. 2005 Sep;207(1-2):1-9.

Decoding the auditory corticofugal systems.

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Division of Neurobiology, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley, Room 289 Life Sciences Addition, Berkeley, CA 94720-3200, USA.

Corrected and republished in


The status of the organization of the auditory corticofugal systems is summarized. These are among the largest pathways in the brain, with descending connections to auditory and non-auditory thalamic, midbrain, and medullary regions. Auditory corticofugal influence thus reaches sites immediately presynaptic to the cortex, sites remote from the cortex, as in perolivary regions that may have a centrifugal role, and to the cochlear nucleus, which could influence early central events in hearing. Other targets include the striatum (possible premotor functions), the amygdala and central gray (prospective limbic and motivational roles), and the pontine nuclei (for precerebellar control). The size, specificity, laminar origins, and morphologic diversity of auditory corticofugal axons is consonant with an interpretation of multiple roles in parallel descending systems.

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