Plasticity of Inferior Colliculus and Auditory Cortex Following Unilateral Deafening in Adult Ferrets

  • David R. Moore
  • Susan J. France
  • David McAlpine
  • Jennifer E. Mossop
  • Huib Versnel


Our studies of the effects of unilateral deafening on the brain have been motivated, in part, by a desire to understand some of the short- and long-term mechanisms underlying clinical hearing loss, and partly by a desire to address basic questions in neurobiology, such as how afferent activity, and its withdrawal and modulation, affect the development and maintenance of neuron form, function, and connectivity. To date, much of our research, and that of others, has focused on the effect of deafening on the immature auditory system. This work has shown (Fig. 1), among other things (see chapter by Rubel, this volume), that surgical removal of one cochlea in neonatal mammals leads to: (a) a loss and shrinkage of neurons in the cochlear nucleus (CN; Hashisaki and Rubel, 1989; Moore, 1990; Moore and O’Leary, 1997; Tierney et al., 1997) and superior olivary complex (SOC; Moore, 1992; Pasic et al., 1994; Moore and Pallas, 1997), (b) the formation of new connections between the CN on the intact side and various target structures in the brain- stem (Kitzes et al., 1995; Russell and Moore, 1995) and midbrain (Nordeen et al., 1983; Moore and Kitzes, 1985; Moore, 1994), and (c) an increase in the responsiveness of inferior colliculus (IC; Kitzes, 1984; Kitzes and Semple, 1985; Moore et al., 1993) and primary auditory cortex (AI; Reale et al., 1987) neurons to acoustic stimulation of the ipsilateral, intact ear. In this paper, we focus on the latter, physiological effects of cochlear ablation. In particular, we compare some recent data showing the short- and long- term effects of cochlear ablation in adulthood with data previously obtained following cochlear ablation in infancy.


Auditory Cortex Auditory System Inferior Colliculus Best Frequency Auditory Brainstem Response Threshold 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David R. Moore
    • 1
  • Susan J. France
    • 1
  • David McAlpine
    • 1
  • Jennifer E. Mossop
    • 1
  • Huib Versnel
    • 1
  1. 1.University Laboratory of PhysiologyOxfordUK

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