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Hear Res. 1990 Mar;44(2-3):161-78.

Responses of single units in the anteroventral cochlear nucleus of the guinea pig.

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Department of Experimental Psychology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, U.K.


Single unit responses have been recorded from the anteroventral cochlear nucleus of the anaesthetised guinea-pig. For each unit a response profile was obtained consisting of spike waveform shape, suprathreshold post-stimulus time histogram at characteristic frequency, frequency/intensity response area, a measure of phase-locking and where possible variation in post-stimulus time histogram shape as a function of position within the response area. Units were classified according to schemes based on both post-stimulus time histogram shape and response area. The majority of units with Type I response areas were primarylike and most with Type III response areas were choppers. One-to-one correspondence between the two classification schemes was found for units which were classified as onset by the post-stimulus time histogram scheme and Type I/III by the response area scheme. Primarylike units with a prepotential in their spike waveform most faithfully preserved the temporal information (as measured by phase-locking) present in the auditory nerve input. Primarylike units in which a prepotential was not detected showed varying abilities to phase-lock. Non-primarylike units do not phase-lock as well as auditory nerve fibres in the same species. Nonmonotonic rate-level functions for tones at characteristic frequency were observed across all unit types (with the exception of onset units) classified by the post-stimulus time histogram scheme. An unexpected finding was a small number of primarylike units characterised by reduced driven discharge rates within their response areas. We hypothesize that the mechanism for this reduction is centre-band inhibition.

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