Brain Research, 1998, Vol.789(1), pp.74-83
Recordings were made from 95 units of the dentate nucleus of naive cats to determine if patterns of response to 70 dB clicks could be distinguished from those to another acoustic stimulus (a hiss) of approximately equal sound pressure level. Further studies of an additional 309 units were conducted to determine if unit excitability and the response to clicks changed after Pavlovian conditioning in which blink responses were elicited by the clicks as conditioned stimuli. Over 50% of units tested before conditioning responded to click or hiss with increased activity, and 8% responded in the first 4-8 ms after the onset of the rapidly rising click. Cross-correlation of the respective 160 ms poststimulus histogram averages of mean activity showed dissimilar patterns of response to clicks and hisses (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient + 0.02). Thus the averaged population responses distinguished these stimuli. In addition, individual cells were found in each behavioral state that responded selectively to either click or hiss. After conditioning with click as the conditioned stimulus, the number of units responding in the first 4-8 ms to click increased to 23%. The mean magnitude of activity 4-8 ms after presenting the click increased after conditioning but not after sensitization produced by backward pairing of the stimuli used for conditioning. After backward pairing only 6% of the units responded in the first 4-8 ms to click. The changes in activity after conditioning were accompanied by increases in neural excitability to intracellularly applied depolarizing current. In contrast with the changes in activity, the increases in neural excitability were also found after backward pairing. We conclude that short as well as long latency acoustic transmissions to click change in the dentate nucleus after conditioning, that changes in response to click are expressed in 4-8 ms responsive cells, and that many of these cells have different patterns of spike activity in response to click and hiss. The findings support the hypothesis that the dentate nucleus can play a significant role in short as well as long latency, adaptive acoustic transmission that can enhance the response to an acoustic signal used as a Pavlovian conditioned stimulus.
Hearing ; Auditory Function ; Primary Sensory Pathway ; Subcerebellar Nuclei ; Learning and Memory: Systems and Functions ; Anatomy & Physiology
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