Dorsal cochlear nucleus response properties following acoustic trauma: Response maps and spontaneous activity

Wei Li Diana Ma, Eric D. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Recordings from single neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) of unanesthetized (decerebrate) cats were done to characterize the effects of acoustic trauma. Trauma was produced by a 250 Hz band of noise centered at 10 kHz, presented at 105-120 dB SPL for 4 h. After a one-month recovery period, neurons were recorded in the DCN. The threshold shift, determined from compound action-potential audiograms, showed a sharp threshold elevation of about 60 dB at BFs above an edge frequency of 5-10 kHz. The response maps of neurons with best frequencies (BFs) above the edge did not show the typical organization of excitatory and inhibitory areas seen in the DCN of unexposed animals. Instead, neurons showed no response to sound, weak responses that were hard to tune and characterize, or "tail" responses, consisting of broadly-tuned, predominantly excitatory responses, with a roughly low-pass shape similar to the tuning curves of auditory nerve fibers with similar threshold shifts. In some tail responses whose BFs were near the edge of the threshold elevation, a second weak high-frequency response was seen that suggests convergence of auditory nerve inputs with widely separated BFs on these cells. Spontaneous rates among neurons with elevated thresholds were not increased over those in populations of principal neurons in unexposed animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-188
Number of pages13
JournalHearing Research
StatePublished - Jun 2006


  • Acoustic trauma
  • Dorsal cochlear nucleus
  • Response maps
  • Spontaneous activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


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