Anin vivoinvestigation of first spike latencies in the inferior colliculus in response to multichannel penetrating auditory brainstem implant stimulation Academic Article uri icon


  • The cochlear nucleus (CN) is the first auditory processing site within the brain and the target location of the auditory brainstem implant (ABI), which provides speech perception to patients who cannot benefit from a cochlear implant (CI). Although there is variance between ABI recipient speech performance outcomes, performance is typically low compared to CI recipients. Temporal aspects of neural firing such as first spike latency (FSL) are thought to code for many speech features; however, no studies have investigated FSL from CN stimulation. Consequently, ABIs currently do not incorporate CN-specific temporal information. We therefore systematically investigated inferior colliculus (IC) neuron's FSL response to frequency-specific electrical stimulation of the CN in rats. The range of FSLs from electrical stimulation of many neurons indicates that both monosynaptic and polysynaptic pathways were activated, suggesting initial activation of multiple CN neuron types. Electrical FSLs for a single neuron did not change irrespective of the CN frequency region stimulated, indicating highly segregated projections from the CN to the IC. These results present the first evidence of temporal responses to frequency-specific CN electrical stimulation. Understanding the auditory system's temporal response to electrical stimulation will help in future ABI designs and stimulation strategies.


publication date

  • June 1, 2010