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J Neurophysiol. 1978 Jul;41(4):837-47.

External nucleus of inferior colliculus: auditory and spinal somatosensory afferents and their interactions.

Abstract

1. The discharges of 129 units were studied in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus of 11 anesthetised and paralyzed cats. This region is known to receive fibers from auditory nuclei and the dorsal column nuclei. 2. Stimuli used were pure tone bursts, monaural or binaural, tactile stimulation of the body surface, and electrical stimulation of the dorsal columns (DC) at a low cervical level and of the contralateral and ipsilateral tibial nerves. 3. Forty-six percent of units were only influenced by one type of stimulation (26% auditory, 20% DC). Of the remaining bimodally influenced units, the majority was excited by pure tone stimuli and inhibited by DC stimulation. 4. A small proportion of the total population (18%) was excited by both DC and auditory input, and units sensitive to both tones and tactile stimulation of the skin were rare (4%). 5. Auditory tuning curves were generally very broad compared with those of units in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. Similarly, somatic receptive fields were large and usually extended over a whole limb. 6. The majority of tone-responsive units were influenced binaurally (70%); most somatic receptive fields were located on the contralateral fore- or hindlimb (16/18). 7. The results indicate that both auditory and somatosensory information is contained in the discharges of units in the external nucleus of the inferior colliculus. 8. Speculations are made about the role of this nucleus in descending auditory input to the spinal cord and in the comparison of auditory and cutaneous information during sound-evoked coordinated body movements.

PMID:
681989
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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