Accessing the tonotopic organization of the ventral cochlear nucleus by intranuclear microstimulation

D. B. McCreery, R. V. Shannon, J. K. Moore, M. Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


This study is part of a program to develop an auditory prosthesis for the profoundly deaf, based on multichannel microstimulation in the cochlear nucleus. The functionality of such a device is dependent on its ability to access the tonotopic axis of the human ventral cochlear nucleus in an orderly fashion. In these studies, we utilized the homologies between the human and feline ventral cochlear nuclei and the known tonotopic organization of the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (IC). In anesthetized cats, stimuli were delivered to three or four locations along the dorsal-to- ventral axis of the posteroventral cochlear nucleus (PVCN), and for each stimulus location, we recorded the multiunit neuronal activity and the field potentials at 20 or more locations along the dorsolateral-ventromedial (tonotopic) axis of the IC. The current source-sink density (CSD), which delimits regions of neuronal activity, was computed from the sequence of field potentials recorded along this axis. The multiunit activity and the CSD analysis both showed that the tonotopic organization of the PVCN can he accessed in an orderly manner by intranuclear microstimulation in several regions of the PVCN, using the range of stimulus pulse amplitudes that have been shown in previous studies to be noninjurious during prolonged intranuclear microstimulation via chronically implanted microelectrodes. We discuss the applicability of these findings to the design of clinical auditory prostheses for implantation into the human cochlear nucleus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-399
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Rehabilitation Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Cat
  • Cochlear nucleus
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Neuroprostheses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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