The anteroventral cochlear nucleus (AVCN) is the first central processing site for acoustic information. The influence and extent of convergent auditory nerve input to AVCN neurons was investigated using brief (<0.2 ms) intracochlear electrical activation of spiral ganglion cells. In 40 neurons recorded in vivo, the major intracellular response to stimulation was an excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) with short latency (approximately 1 ms) and fast rise time (<1 ms). Graduated EPSP amplitude increases were also seen with increasing stimulation strength resulting in spike generation. Hyperpolarization followed excitation in most neurons, its extent distinguished three response types: Type I showed no hyperpolarization; Type II and Type III displayed short (<10 ms) and long (>19 ms) duration hyperpolarization, respectively. Hyperpolarization was attributed to an inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) in addition to spike after hyperpolarization. Neurobiotin filling identified Type I and II neurons as stellate and Type III as bushy cells. These results suggests that AVCN neurons receive direct, possibly convergent, excitatory input from auditory nerves emanating from spiral ganglion cells with hyperpolarization resulting from polysynaptic inhibitory input.