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J Neurophysiol. 2011 Apr;105(4):1785-97. doi: 10.1152/jn.00857.2010. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

Systematic mapping of the monkey inferior colliculus reveals enhanced low frequency sound representation.

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Department of Neurobiology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.


We investigated the functional architecture of the inferior colliculus (IC) in rhesus monkeys. We systematically mapped multiunit responses to tonal stimuli and noise in the IC and surrounding tissue of six rhesus macaques, collecting data at evenly placed locations and recording nonresponsive locations to define boundaries. The results show a modest tonotopically organized region (17 of 100 recording penetration locations in 4 of 6 monkeys) surrounded by a large mass of tissue that, although vigorously responsive, showed no clear topographic arrangement (68 of 100 penetration locations). Rather, most cells in these recordings responded best to frequencies at the low end of the macaque auditory range. The remaining 15 (of 100) locations exhibited auditory responses that were not sensitive to sound frequency. Potential anatomical correlates of functionally defined regions and implications for midbrain auditory prosthetic devices are discussed.

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