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Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Mar;23(6):1614-22.

Effect of auditory cortex lesions on the discrimination of frequency-modulated tones in rats.

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Department of Auditory Neuroscience, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Vídenská 1083, 142 20 Prague, Czech Republic.


The lateralization of functions to individual hemispheres of the mammalian brain remains, with the exception of the human brain, unresolved. The aim of this work was to investigate the ability to discriminate between falling and rising frequency-modulated (FM) stimuli in rats with unilateral or bilateral lesions of the auditory cortex (AC). Using an avoidance conditioning procedure, thirsty rats were trained to drink in the presence of a rising FM tone and to stop drinking when a falling FM tone was presented. Rats with a lesion of the AC were able to learn to discriminate between rising and falling FM tones; however, they performed significantly worse than did control rats. A greater deficit in the ability to discriminate the direction of frequency modulation was observed in rats with a right or bilateral AC lesion. The discrimination performance (DP) in these rats was significantly worse than the DP in rats with a left AC lesion. Animals with a right or bilateral AC lesion improved their DP mainly by recognizing the pitch at the beginning of the stimuli. The lesioning of the AC in trained animals caused a significant decrease in DP, down to chance levels. Retraining resulted in a significant increase in DP in rats with a left AC lesion; animals with a right lesion improved only slightly. The results demonstrate a hemispheric asymmetry of the rat AC in the recognition of FM stimuli and indicate the dominance of the right AC in the discrimination of the direction of frequency modulation.

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