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J Neurosci. 1990 May;10(5):1557-69.

Resting discharge and response dynamics of horizontal semicircular canal afferents of the toadfish, Opsanus tau.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201.


The response dynamics of 66 primary afferents of the horizontal semicircular canal were studied in the toadfish using sinusoidal, rotational stimuli from 0.001-10 Hz at amplitudes of 5-100 degrees/sec. Twelve afferents were also tested to constant velocity trapezoids. Responses to sinusoids were used to classify afferents into 3 broad groups: (1) low-gain afferents that maintain a relatively linear response re: stimulus velocity across most of the frequency and amplitude spectra tested; (2) high-gain afferents that have a velocity sensitivity but also show a high-frequency gain enhancement and phase advance; and (3) so-called acceleration afferents that have a response more in phase with stimulus acceleration than velocity across the tested bandwidth. The afferent's background discharge was examined in relation to its rotational response. Low-gain afferents have regular spacing of interspike intervals. High-gain and acceleration afferents have a widely variable discharge regularity that is apparently unrelated to their rotational responses. Input/output transfer models were fit to the response data to describe the low- and high-pass filtering properties of the 3 afferent groups.

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