Features of contralaterally evoked inhibition in the inferior colliculus

Hear Res. 2000 Mar;141(1-2):80-96. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5955(99)00206-3.


Cells in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (ICc) receive a large number of convergent inputs that are not only excitatory but inhibitory as well. While the excitatory responses of ICc cells have been studied extensively, less attention has been paid to the effects that inhibitory inputs have on auditory processing in the ICc. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of contralaterally evoked inhibition in single ICc cells in awake Mexican free-tailed bats. To study the contralaterally evoked inhibition, we created background activity by the iontophoretic application of the excitatory neurotransmitters glutamate and aspartate and visualized the inhibition as a gap in the carpet of background activity. We found that 85% of ICc cells exhibit a contralaterally evoked excitation followed by a period of inhibition. The inhibition acts primarily through GABA(A)20 ms) tones in generating persistent inhibition. While the early inhibition has clear roles in the shaping of excitatory response properties to a stimulus, the later persistent component of the inhibition is more enigmatic. The fact that the persistent inhibition lasts well beyond the duration of excitatory inputs to the ICc cell implies that the persistent inhibition may be important for the temporal segregation of the responses to multiple sound sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Aspartic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Bicuculline / administration & dosage
  • Chiroptera / anatomy & histology
  • Chiroptera / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / drug effects
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • GABA Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Glutamic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Inferior Colliculi / cytology
  • Inferior Colliculi / drug effects
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology*
  • Iontophoresis
  • Receptors, GABA-A / drug effects
  • Receptors, GABA-A / physiology
  • Strychnine / administration & dosage


  • GABA Antagonists
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Strychnine
  • Bicuculline