A discontinuous tonotopic organization in the inferior colliculus of the rat

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  2. David Perez Gonzalez
Author(s)Malmierca MS, Izquierdo MA, Cristaudo S, Hernández O, Pérez-González D, Covey E, Oliver DL
Publication type Article
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
ISSN (print)0270-6474
ISSN (electronic)1529-2401
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Audible frequencies of sound are encoded in a continuous manner along the length of the cochlea, and frequency is transmitted to the brain as a representation of place on the basilar membrane. The resulting tonotopic map has been assumed to be a continuous smooth progression from low to high frequency throughout the central auditory system. Here, physiological and anatomical data show that best frequency is represented in a discontinuous manner in the inferior colliculus, the major auditory structure of the midbrain. Multiunit maps demonstrate a distinct stepwise organization in the order of best frequency progression. Furthermore, independent data from single neurons show that best frequencies at octave intervals of approximately one-third are more prevalent than others. These data suggest that, in the inferior colliculus, there is a defined space of tissue devoted to a given frequency, and input within this frequency band may be pooled for higher-level processing.
PublisherSociety for Neuroscience
PubMed id18448653
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