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Hear Res. 1995 Jan;82(1):31-43.

Recovery of forward-masked responses in ventral cochlear nucleus neurons.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, USA.


Single unit responses were obtained from 8 classes of cells in the ventral cochlear nucleus: Primarylike, Primarylike with characteristic frequencies below 1 kHz, Primarylike-Notch, Sustained Chopper, Transient-Chopper, Low-intensity Chopper; Onset with later activity and On-Chopper. Stimuli were paired tonebursts, a masker preceding a probe, separated by time delta t ms. The decrement in discharge rate to the probe was measured as a function of delta t and constituted the forward-masking recovery function. The recovery functions of primarylike units were similar to those reported for auditory nerve fibers, but recovered more slowly than all other classes of units in the ventral cochlear nucleus. Some units, such as onset units, were completely masked at short masker-probe intervals, while others, such as the low-intensity choppers, were less affected by the masker. More masking occurred in the first 2 ms of the response (onset rate) than in the overall response (average rate). Using shorter maskers and measuring the onset rate produced greater differences in masking functions between unit classes. Units with high spontaneous activity were more resistant to the effects of the masker than units with low and medium spontaneous activity. This was especially evident at high masker levels and short masker-probe intervals. Units other than primarylike often showed non-monotonic relationships between the firing rate evoked by the masker and the firing rate decrement in response to the probe, suggesting that both adaptation and inhibition are operating to produce the observed effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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