Decoding the auditory corticofugal systems

Hear Res. 2005 Sep;207(1-2):1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2005.06.007.


The status of the organization of the auditory corticofugal systems is summarized. These are among the largest pathways in the brain, with descending connections to auditory and non-auditory thalamic, midbrain, and medullary regions. Auditory corticofugal influence thus reaches sites immediately presynaptic to the cortex, sites remote from the cortex, as in perolivary regions that may have a centrifugal role, and to the cochlear nucleus, which could influence early central events in hearing. Other targets include the striatum (possible premotor functions), the amygdala and central gray (prospective limbic and motivational roles), and the pontine nuclei (for precerebellar control). The size, specificity, laminar origins, and morphologic diversity of auditory corticofugal axons is consonant with an interpretation of multiple roles in parallel descending systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology*
  • Brain Stem / physiology
  • Corpus Striatum / physiology
  • Feedback
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology
  • Hearing / physiology
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology
  • Medulla Oblongata / physiology
  • Mesencephalon / physiology
  • Models, Neurological
  • Thalamus / physiology