Experience-dependent refinement of inhibitory inputs to auditory coincidence-detector neurons

Nat Neurosci. 2002 Mar;5(3):247-53. doi: 10.1038/nn810.


The spatial arrangement of inputs on to single neurons is assumed to be crucial in accurate signal processing. In mammals, the most precise temporal processing occurs in the context of sound localization. Medial superior olivary neurons can encode microsecond differences in the arrival time of low-frequency sounds at the two ears. Here we show that in mammals with well developed low-frequency hearing, a spatial refinement of ionotropic inhibitory inputs occurs on medial superior olivary neurons during development. This refinement is experience dependent and does not develop in mammals that do not use interaural time differences for sound localization.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Afferent Pathways
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Chiroptera
  • Cochlea / pathology
  • Gerbillinae
  • Glycine / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Olivary Nucleus / cytology
  • Olivary Nucleus / physiology*
  • Opossums
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Receptors, Glycine / metabolism
  • Sound Localization / physiology*
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Time Factors


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Receptors, Glycine
  • gephyrin
  • Glycine