Transneuronal Signals for Afferent Regulation in the Chick Auditory System

  • Richard L. Hyson


Previous chapters in this volume have made it abundantly clear that the effects of early sensory deprivation are robust. In fact, an important role of sensory experience has been implicated in the development of every sensory system thus far examined, (this volume, also see for example, Levi-Montalcini, 1949; Wiesel and Hubel, 1963a,Wiesel and Hubel, 1963b; Wiesel and Hubel, 1965; Peusner and Morest, 1977; Webster and Webster, 1977; Mistretta and Bradley, 1978; Stryker and Harris, 1986; Frazier and Brunjes, 1988; Rubel et al., 1990). This role of early experience has been documented using a variety of procedures for manipulating sensory input. One common approach is to examine changes in neural development after raising the animal without exposure to the sensory stimulus, such as by rearing an animal in the dark or raising them in an “impoverished” environment. Alternatively, peripheral sensory structures could be modified to prevent the detection of the sensory stimulus. In the previous chapter by Johnson and Leon, for example, the naris was occluded to limit exposure to olfactory cues. A more extreme manipulation is to totally abolish sensory processing in a given system by damaging the sensory receptors or primary sensory nerves, as seen in the earlier chapter by Parks in which the otocyst was removed. From a psychological point of view, these various manipulations would certainly be different in terms of how they change the organism’s perceptual experience. From the perspective of the developing neuron, however, the important aspect of these manipulations is how they change the activity of the sensory afferents, not the perceptual outcome. In other words, regardless of the exact type of manipulation, any effects of these manipulations can be attributed to the fact that the manipulation produced a change in the rate or pattern of activity in the sensory nerves.


Auditory Nerve Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Cochlear Nucleus Afferent Activity Auditory Nerve Fiber 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard L. Hyson
    • 1
  1. 1.Program in Neuroscience Psychology DepartmentFlorida State UniversityTallahassee

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