Acute spiral ganglion lesions change the tuning and tonotopic organization of cat inferior colliculus neurons

Russell L. Snyder, Donal G. Sinex, Joann D. McGee, Edward W. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Many studies have reported plastic changes in central auditory frequency organization after chronic cochlear lesions. These studies employed mechanical, acoustic or drug-induced disruptions of restricted regions of the organ of Corti that permanently alter its tuning and sensitivity and require an extended recovery period before central effects can be measured. In this study, mechanical lesions were made to 1 mm sectors of the spiral ganglion (SG). These lesions remove a restricted portion of the cochlear output, but leave the organ of Corti and basilar membrane intact. Multiunit mapping assessed the pre- and post-lesion tonotopic organization of the inferior colliculus (IC). Immediately after SG lesions, IC neurons previously tuned to the lesion frequencies became less sensitive to those frequencies but more sensitive to lesion edge frequencies, resulting in a shift in their characteristic frequencies (CFs). Notches in the excitatory response areas at frequencies corresponding to the lesion frequencies and expansion of spatial tuning curves were also observed. CFs of neurons tuned to unlesioned frequencies were unchanged. These results suggest that 'plastic' changes similar to those observed after long survival times in previous studies require little or no experience and occur within minutes to hours following the lesion. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)200-220
Number of pages21
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 2000


  • Cochlear lesion
  • Hearing loss
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Plasticity
  • Tonotopic reorganization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems

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