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Cellular Strategies for Frequency-Dependent Computation of Interaural Time Difference

Authors
  • Yamada, Rei
  • Kuba, Hiroshi
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience
Publisher
Frontiers Media S.A.
Publication Date
May 06, 2022
Volume
14
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnsyn.2022.891740
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Neuroscience
  • Mini Review
License
Green

Abstract

Binaural coincidence detection is the initial step in encoding interaural time differences (ITDs) for sound-source localization. In birds, neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) play a central role in this process. These neurons receive excitatory synaptic inputs on dendrites from both sides of the cochlear nucleus and compare their coincidences at the soma. The NL is tonotopically organized, and individual neurons receive a pattern of synaptic inputs that are specific to their tuning frequency. NL neurons differ in their dendritic morphology along the tonotopic axis; their length increases with lower tuning frequency. In addition, our series of studies have revealed several frequency-dependent refinements in the morphological and biophysical characteristics of NL neurons, such as the amount and subcellular distribution of ion channels and excitatory and inhibitory synapses, which enable the neurons to process the frequency-specific pattern of inputs appropriately and encode ITDs at each frequency band. In this review, we will summarize these refinements of NL neurons and their implications for the ITD coding. We will also discuss the similarities and differences between avian and mammalian coincidence detectors.

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