Journal of Neurophysiology

Error message

Notice: PHP Error: Undefined index: custom_texts in highwire_highwire_corrections_content_type_render() (line 33 of /opt/sites/jnl-jn/drupal-highwire/releases/20151124215058/modules/highwire/plugins/content_types/

Regularity and latency of units in ventral cochlear nucleus: implications for unit classification and generation of response properties

E. D. Young, J. M. Robert, W. P. Shofner


1. The responses of neurons in the ventral cochlear nucleus (VCN) of decerebrate cats are described with regard to their regularity of discharge and latency. Regularity is measured by estimating the mean and standard deviation of interspike intervals as a function of time during responses to short tone bursts (25 ms). This method extends the usual interspike-interval analysis based on interval histograms by allowing the study of temporal changes in regularity during transient responses. The coefficient of variation (CV), equal to the ratio of standard deviation to mean interspike interval, is used as a measure of irregularity. Latency is measured as the mean and standard deviation of the latency of the first spike in response to short tone bursts, with 1.6-ms rise times. 2. The regularity and latency properties of the usual PST histogram response types are shown. Five major PST response type classes are used: chopper, primary-like, onset, onset-C, and unusual. The presence of a prepotential in a unit's action potentials is also noted; a prepotential implies that the unit is recorded from a bushy cell. 3. Units with chopper PST histograms give the most regular discharge. Three varieties of choppers are found. Chop-S units (regular choppers) have CVs less than 0.35 that are approximately constant during the response; chop-S units show no adaptation of instantaneous rate, as measured by the inverse of the mean interspike interval. Chop-T units have CVs greater than 0.35, show an increase in irregularity during the response and show substantial rate adaptation. Chop-U units have CVs greater than 0.35, show a decrease in irregularity during the response, and show a variety of rate adaptation behaviors, including negative adaptation (an increase in rate during a short-tone response). Irregular choppers (chop-T and chop-U units) rarely have CVs greater than 0.5. Choppers have the longest latencies of VCN units; all three groups have mean latencies at least 1 ms longer than the shortest auditory nerve (AN) fiber mean latencies. 4. Chopper units are recorded from stellate cells in VCN (35, 42). Our results for chopper units suggest a model for stellate cells in which a regularly firing action potential generator is driven by the summation of the AN inputs to the cell, where the summation is low-pass filtered by the membrane capacitance of the cell.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)