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Differences in FM response correlate with morphology of neurons in the rat inferior colliculus

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The response characteristics to linear frequency sweeps were studied in two groups of FM (frequency modulation) sensitive neurons in the rat inferior colliculus. ‘FM specialized’ cells responded to frequency sweeps but not to pure tones. ‘Mixed’ cells responded to both frequency sweeps and pure tones. FM specialized cells preferred faster and broader sweeps of higher intensity than did mixed cells and were more directionally selective. In addition, FM specialized cells were more sharply tuned to FM velocity and FM range and had longer response latencies. Physiologically identified FM cells stained intracellularly with horseradish peroxidase revealed differences in morphology correlating with the differences in their responses to tones. FM specialized cells had larger dendritic fields, more dendritic branching and more dendritic spines than did mixed cells. The findings are taken as evidence that the two groups of inferior colliculus neurons are both functionally and morphologically distinct.

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Poon, P.W.F., Chen, X. & Cheung, Y.M. Differences in FM response correlate with morphology of neurons in the rat inferior colliculus. Exp Brain Res 91, 94–104 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00230017

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Key words

  • Frequency modulation
  • Intracellular recordings
  • Horseradish peroxidase
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Rat