To investigate neural adaptive properties, near-field evoked potentials were recorded from a chronically implanted electrode in the ventral cochlear nucleus in awake Long-Evans rats exposed to acoustic stimuli or receiving intracochlear electric stimulation. Stimuli were 250-ms trains of repetitive acoustic clicks (10, 30 and 50 dB SPL) or biphasic electric pulses (30, 50 and 70 microA) with intratrain pulse rates ranging from 100 to 1000 pulses per second (pps). The amplitude of the first negative (N(1)) to positive (P(1)) component of the average evoked potentials was measured for each consecutive individual pulse in the train. While a progressive exponential decrease in N(1)-P(1) amplitude was observed as a function of the position of the pulse within the train for both types of stimulation, the decrement of electric responses (adaptive pattern) was substantially less prominent than that observed for acoustic stimuli. Based on this difference, the present work was extended by modifying electric stimuli in order to try to restore normal adaptation phenomena. The results suggest the feasibility of mimicking acoustic adaptation by stimulation with exponentially decreasing electric pulse trains, which may be clinically applicable in the auditory implant field.
Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel