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Thalamic Activation Modulates the Responses of Neurons in Rat Primary Auditory Cortex: An In Vivo Intracellular Recording Study

By Lei Han, Yonghai Zhang, Yunxiao Lou and Ying Xiong


Auditory cortical plasticity can be induced through various approaches. The medial geniculate body (MGB) of the auditory thalamus gates the ascending auditory inputs to the cortex. The thalamocortical system has been proposed to play a critical role in the responses of the auditory cortex (AC). In the present study, we investigated the cellular mechanism of the cortical activity, adopting an in vivo intracellular recording technique, recording from the primary auditory cortex (AI) while presenting an acoustic stimulus to the rat and electrically stimulating its MGB. We found that low-frequency stimuli enhanced the amplitudes of sound-evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in AI neurons, whereas high-frequency stimuli depressed these auditory responses. The degree of this modulation depended on the intensities of the train stimuli as well as the intervals between the electrical stimulations and their paired sound stimulations. These findings may have implications regarding the basic mechanisms of MGB activation of auditory cortical plasticity and cortical signal processing

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Publisher: Public Library of Science
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