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Temporally patterned pulse trains affect directional sensitivity of inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus

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Abstract

The directional sensitivity of inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, was studied under free field stimulation conditions with 3 temporally patterned trains of sound pulses which differed in pulse repetition rate and duration. The directional sensitivity curves of 92 neurons studied can be described as hemifield, directionally-selective, or non-directional according to the variation in the number of impulses with pulse train direction. When these neurons were stimulated with all 3 pulse trains, the directional sensitivity curves of 50 neurons was unchanged but that of the other 42 neurons changed from one type into another. When these pulse trains were delivered at high pulse repetition rate and short pulse duration, they significantly sharpened the directional sensitivity of two thirds of the neurons examined by reducing the angular range and increasing the slope of their impulse directional sensitivity curves. These pulse trains also sharpened the slope of the threshold directional sensitivity curves of 25 neurons studied. However, when directional sensitivity of collicular neurons was determined with pulse trains that differed only in pulse repetition rate or in pulse duration, significant sharpening of directional sensitivity was rarely observed in all experimental conditions tested. Possible mechanisms underlying these findings are discussed.

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Wu, M.I., Jen, P.H.S. Temporally patterned pulse trains affect directional sensitivity of inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus . J Comp Physiol A 179, 385–393 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00194992

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Key words

  • Bat
  • Directional sensitivity
  • Duration
  • Pulse repetition rate