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Neural inhibition sharpens auditory spatial selectivity of bat inferior collicular neurons

Authors
  • Zhou, X. M.
  • Jen, P. H.-S.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Comparative Physiology A
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2000
Volume
186
Issue
4
Pages
389–398
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s003590050438
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

This study examines the role of neural inhibition in auditory spatial selectivity of inferior collicular neurons of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, using a two-tone inhibition paradigm. Two-tone inhibition decreases auditory spatial response areas but increases the slopes of directional sensitivity curves of inferior collicular neurons. Inferior collicular neurons have either directionally-selective or hemifield directional sensitivity curves. A directionally-selective curve always has a peak which is at least 50% larger than the minimum. A hemifield directional sensitivity curve rises from an ipsilateral angle by more than 50% and either reaches a plateau or declines by less than 50% over a range of contralateral angles. Two-tone inhibition does not change directionally-selective curves but changes most hemifield directional sensitivity curves into directionally-selective curves. Auditory spatial selectivity determined both with and without two-tone inhibition increases with increasing best-excitatory frequency. Sharpening of auditory spatial selectivity by two-tone inhibition is larger for neurons with smaller differences between excitatory and inhibitory best frequencies. The effect of two-tone inhibition on auditory spatial selectivity increases with increasing inhibitory tone intensity but decreases with increasing intertone interval. The implications of these findings in bat echolocation are discussed.

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