Interaction Between Somatosensory and Auditory Systems

  • Aage R. MøllerEmail author
  • Susan Shore


  1. 1.

    Studies in animals (guinea pigs) have shown ­projections from the dorsal column nuclei and the caudal trigeminal nucleus to cells in the cochlear nucleus (CN).

  2. 2.

    Recordings from single cells in the DCN and evoked potentials indicate that the pathways from the trigeminal nucleus are functional.

  3. 3.

    Electrical stimulation of the dorsal column and the cervical dorsal root ganglia elicits short and long latency inhibition separated by a transient excitatory peak in DCN single units.

  4. 4.

    Electrical stimulation of the trigeminal nucleus elicits excitation in some DCN units and inhibition in others.

  5. 5.

    Dorsal cochlear nucleus neurons show greater ­sensitivity to somatosensory stimulation, and the interaction between somatic stimulation and sound stimulation is greater after exposure to loud sounds that cause hearing loss and probably tinnitus. These findings may be explained by increased innervation of the cochlear nucleus by somatosensory fibers after noise exposure.



Tinnitus Cross-modal interaction Cochlear nucleus Trigeminal system Dorsal column system 



Auditory nerve fibers


Cochlear nucleus


Dorsal cochlear nucleus


Granule cell domain


Dorsal root ganglion


Post stimulus time histogram


Spinal trigeminal nucleus


Caudal spinal trigeminal nucleus


Trigeminal ganglion


Trigeminal nucleus


Ventral cochlear nucleus


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Behavioral and Brain SciencesThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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