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Neurosci Lett. 1996 Jul 12;212(2):131-4.

Corticofugal control of central auditory sensitivity in the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia 65211, USA.


Using bats as a model auditory system, we studied corticofugal control of auditory sensitivity of neurons in the inferior colliculus. We demonstrate for the first time that the corticocollicular pathway continuously regulates acoustic signal processing in the inferior colliculus by increasing the threshold, reducing the auditory spatial response area, and sharpening the frequency tuning curve of recorded inferior collicular neurons. Regulation of auditory sensitivity of recorded inferior collicular neurons was observed when the corticocollicular pathway was activated by electrical stimulation in the auditory cortex. The effect of this corticofugal regulation of auditory sensitivity in inferior collicular neurons can also be produced by ionophoretical application of GABA to the collicular recording site. This regulation of ascending acoustic information by commands originating from higher brain centers may provide the bat with a mechanism to actively control acoustic signal processing and thus optimize acoustic signal analysis.

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