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J Neurophysiol. 1986 Aug;56(2):287-307.

Physiological studies on neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus of cat.


Results reported here support the conclusion that an individual neuron in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) can exhibit pauser, buildup, and chopper patterns in response to tone pips. Fusiform cells have been previously identified as the principal cell exhibiting these patterns. Fusiform cells can also exhibit an onset response followed by suppression of spontaneous activity at their characteristic frequency (CF). Off CF only suppression is seen. These neurons are characterized by a restricted excitatory region near threshold. All these cells can exhibit nonmonotonic rate curves, narrow excitatory regions, and inhibitory sidebands. Nonmonotonicity occurred in 34% of pausers, 52% of buildup, 89% of onsets with a graded response, and 50% overall in the DCN cells. Chopper units occur as often as the other types combined in the DCN. Only 14% show nonmonotonic rate curves. Those with high-spontaneous activity also show inhibitory sidebands. Cells with a predominant buildup pattern occur most frequently in the fusiform cell layer, whereas pausers occur throughout the DCN below the molecular layer. Intracellular potentials often reflect the average response pattern. Sharply delimited response areas indicate that these cells may be useful for performing a spectral analysis. These cells show almost no phase locking suggesting that temporal encoding is an unlikely function. It is suggested that the effects of anesthetic on the function of the DCN is not as marked as previously indicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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