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J Neurophysiol. 1987 Apr;57(4):1002-21.

Effect of electrical stimulation of the crossed olivocochlear bundle on auditory nerve response to tones in noise.


The discharge rates of single auditory-nerve fibers responding to best-frequency (BF) tones of varying level presented simultaneously with fixed level broadband noise were recorded with and without electrical stimulation of the crossed olivocochlear bundle (COCB). In the absence of COCB stimulation, monotonic increases in noise level produce monotonic increases in the low-level noise-driven response rate of auditory nerve fibers. As a result of adaptation, these increases in noise-driven response rate produce monotonic decreases in saturation discharge rate. At high noise levels, these compressive effects may eliminate the differential rate response of auditory nerve fibers to BF tones. COCB stimulation can restore this differential rate response by producing large decreases in noise-driven response rate and large increases in saturation discharge rate. In backgrounds of quiet, COCB stimulation is known to shift the dynamic range of single auditory nerve fiber BF tone responses to higher stimulus levels. In the presence of background noise, COCB stimulation produces upward shift of dynamic range, which decreases with increasing noise level. At high noise levels, COCB-induced decompression of rate-level functions may occur with little or no dynamic range shift. This enables auditory nerve fibers to signal changes in tone level with changes in discharge rate at lower signal-to-noise ratios than would be possible otherwise. Broadband noise also produces upward shift of the dynamic range of single auditory nerve fiber BF tone response. Noise-induced dynamic range shift of BF tone response was measured as a function of noise level with and without COCB stimulation. COCB stimulation elevates the threshold of noise-induced dynamic range shift. This shift is thought to result from two-tone rate suppression. Increases in the threshold of noise-induced shift due to COCB stimulation therefore suggests an interaction between the mechanism of two-tone rate suppression and the mechanism by which COCB stimulation produces dynamic range shift. These interactions were further investigated by recording auditory nerve fiber rate responses to fixed-level BF excitor tones presented simultaneously with fixed-frequency variable level suppressor tones. Rate responses were recorded with and without COCB stimulation. Experimental results were quantified using a phenomenological model of two-tone rate suppression presented by Sachs and Abbas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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