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Neuroscience. 2008 Jun 12;154(1):87-98. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2008.03.013. Epub 2008 Mar 20.

Response patterns to sound associated with labeled globular/bushy cells in cat.

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Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The mammalian cochlear nucleus (CN) consists of a diverse set of neurons both physiologically and morphologically that are involved in processing different aspects of the sound signal. One class of CN neurons that is located near the entrance of the auditory nerve (AN) to the CN has an oval soma with an eccentric nucleus and a short-bushy dendritic tree and is called a globular/bushy cell (GBC). They contact the principal cells of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB) with the very large calyx of Held that is one of the most secure synapses in the brain. Because MNTB cells provide an inhibitory input to the lateral superior olive (LSO), a structure purported to play a role in lateralizing high frequency sounds, GBC physiology is of great interest. Results were obtained with intracellular recording and subsequent labeling with neurobiotin of 32 GBCs along with a number of cells characterized extracellularly as likely GBCs in the cochlear nucleus (CN) of cat. Their poststimulus discharge response pattern to repeated tones varies from a primarylike pattern, i.e. similar to the AN, to a primarylike pattern with a 0.5-2 ms notch after the initial spike, to an onset pattern with a low-sustained rate. They can represent low frequency tones and amplitude modulated signals exceptionally well with a temporal code.

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