Improvement of Phase Information at Low Sound Frequency in Nucleus Magnocellularis of the Chicken

Iwao Fukui, Tatsuo Sato, Harunori Ohmori
2006 Journal of Neurophysiology  
Nucleus magnocellularis (NM) is one of the subnuclei of the avian cochlear nucleus and has a role of extracting the temporal information of sound from the auditory nerve fibers (ANFs). Neurons in NM are varied along the tonotopic axis in synaptic transmission and membrane excitability and are high-fidelity relay neurons at the high to middle characteristic frequency (CF) regions. Here we have compared the firing properties between ANFs and NM neurons in vivo and found that at high but not near
more » ... high but not near threshold intensities, spike firings are more phase-locked in NM than in ANFs in the CF region Ͻ500 Hz. Moreover, NM shows reduced occurrence of multiple spikes within one cycle of sound stimuli and higher vector strength than ANF. The improved phaselocked firing nature of NM is discussed in relation to the in vitro findings of small EPSCs in the low CF neurons (Fukui and Ohmori 2004) . It is concluded that NM neurons are not simple relay neurons in the low CF region but are coincidence detectors of monoaural synaptic inputs that improve the synchronization of spike firing to auditory inputs.
doi:10.1152/jn.00916.2005 pmid:16687616 fatcat:ejg5npk4fnfhzgxriy4lcy25cy