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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59828. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059828. Epub 2013 Mar 20.

Stimulus-timing dependent multisensory plasticity in the guinea pig dorsal cochlear nucleus.

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Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States of America.


Multisensory neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) show long-lasting enhancement or suppression of sound-evoked responses when stimulated with combined somatosensory-auditory stimulation. By varying the intervals between sound and somatosensory stimuli we show for the first time in vivo that DCN bimodal responses are influenced by stimulus-timing dependent plasticity. The timing rules and time courses of the observed stimulus-timing dependent plasticity closely mimic those of spike-timing dependent plasticity that have been demonstrated in vitro at parallel-fiber synapses onto DCN principal cells. Furthermore, the degree of inhibition in a neuron influences whether that neuron has Hebbian or anti-Hebbian timing rules. As demonstrated in other cerebellar-like circuits, anti-Hebbian timing rules reflect adaptive filtering, which in the DCN would result in suppression of sound-evoked responses that are predicted by activation of somatosensory inputs, leading to the suppression of body-generated signals such as self-vocalization.

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