Responses of anteroventral cochlear nucleus neurons of the unanesthetized decerebrate cat to click pairs as simulated echoes

K. Parham, H. B. Zhao, Y. Ye, D. O. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


To elucidate the contribution of the anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) to 'echo' processing, this study documents the responses of AVCN neurons to simulated echoes and compares them to those of auditory nerve (AN) fibers. Single unit discharges were recorded from 121 units in the AVCN of 21 unanesthetized decerebrate cats in response to click pairs with inter-click intervals ranging from 1 to 32 ms between 45 and 105 dB SPL re 20 μPa. Units were classified according to the post-stimulus time histogram (PSTH) and excitatory-inhibitory response area (EI-area) schemes. Based on their spontaneous rates (SR), units were subdivided into low- (< 20 spikes/s) and high- (> 20 spikes/s) SR groups. A majority of the units exhibited second- click responses whose recovery time courses were similar to those of AN fibers. These units included primary-like, chopper and onset units in the PSTH scheme and Types I, I/III and III units in the EI-area scheme. A minority of the units exhibited responses that were distinct from those of AN fibers, in that they had second-click response recovery times that were either markedly reduced or prolonged. This group of units included those with primary-like, chopper and onset PSTHs and Type I/III and III EI-areas. No significant difference was found in the second-click response among various PSTH or EI-area types. High-SR AVCN units exhibited a decrease in the second- click response with increasing level. In contrast, low-SR AVCN units showed little level-dependent change in the second-click responses. This SR-based difference was similar to that previously found among AN fibers. The present results suggest that, although a majority of AVCN units exhibit similar time courses of second-click response recovery to those of AN fibers, there do exist mechanisms in the cochlear nucleus that can substantially alter this representation. Furthermore, the difference between the second-click response recovery functions of low- and high-SR AVCN units and the consistency of this finding between AVCN and AN suggest that SR represents an important dimension for signal representation in the AVCN neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH, Grant P01-DC-01366. We thank Drs. S. Kuwada, D. Fitzpatrick, and A. Palmer for their helpful comments on this manuscript.


  • Anteroventral cochlear nucleus
  • Click pair
  • Echo processing
  • Spontaneous rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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