Glycine plays an important role as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the ventral cochlear nucleus. However, little is known about the kinetic behavior of glycine receptors. The present study examines the kinetics of the native inhibitory glycine receptors in neurons of the ventral cochlear nucleus, using outside-out patches from acutely dissociated cells and a fast flow system. Steps into 1 mM glycine revealed fast phases of desensitization with time constants of 13 and 129 ms, that together produced a 40% reduction in current from the peak response. Slower desensitization phases also were observed. After removal of glycine, currents deactivated with two time constants of 15 and 68 ms, and these rates were independent of the glycine concentration between 0.2 and 1 mM. Recovery from desensitization was slow relative to desensitization itself. These results demonstrate that glycine receptors can exhibit faster rates of desensitization and deactivation than previously reported.