Fast Inhibition Underlies the Transmission of Auditory Information between Cochlear Nuclei Academic Article uri icon


  • A direct commissural connection between cochlear nuclei provides a pathway by which binaural input can influence the processing of acoustic information through the ventral cochlear nucleus. Despite anatomical evidence to suggest the existence of such a pathway, its nature and behavior have not been investigated previously. This in vivo intracellular electrophysiological study provides direct evidence of monosynaptic (mean latency, 1.43 msec), inhibitory commissural input to T stellate cells. This inhibition is fast acting (duration, <10 msec), occurring with little synaptic delay ( approximately 0.3 msec). Electrical stimulation also revealed the initiation of antidromic responses in the onset chopper population, signifying D stellate neurons as a source of commissural inputs. Activation of the commissural connection was most evident in response to broadband stimuli. These results provide the first compelling evidence of a fast, monosynaptic commissural pathway arising from contralateral D stellate neurons providing broadband inhibitory input to T stellate cells.

publication date

  • July 16, 2003