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J Acoust Soc Am. 1993 Jun;93(6):3390-9.

Regularity of cochlear nucleus stellate cells: a computational modeling study.

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Department of Human Sciences, University of Technology, Loughborough, United Kingdom.


This article reports on a computational modeling study designed to investigate the generation of the transient chopper response of cochlear nucleus stellate cells. The model is based on a simulation of the auditory periphery which feeds a generic stellate-cell model. Physiological recordings of transient chopper units in response to short, best frequency, tone bursts show a brief initial period (typically < 10 ms) of rapid rate adaptation as evidenced by a rapid rise in mean interspike interval. Associated with this rate adaptation is a significant increase in firing irregularity. The changes in rate and irregularity have recently been attributed to the activation of noisy inhibitory inputs on the cell [e.g., Banks and Sachs, J. Neurophysiol. 65, 606-629 (1991)]. However, the results show that the transient chopper response pattern can be generated without the need for inhibitory inputs. The transience of the initial chopping pattern is sensitive to the following model parameters: (a) the firing threshold of the cell, (b) the number of excitatory inputs that converge on the cell, and (c) the magnitude of the current delivered to the cell for each active input. The response was also found to be relatively insensitive to changes in the degree of dendritic filtering imposed on the auditory-nerve input. The results of each simulation can be explained by considering the pattern of depolarization the cell receives during the course of a tone burst.

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