Detection of silent gaps in white noise following cortical deactivation in rats

Neuroreport. 2008 May 28;19(8):893-8. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283013d7e.


Rodent studies using cortical removal techniques, ranging from transient deactivation to surgical ablation of cortex, reveal the importance of auditory cortical integrity in detecting short silent gaps in white noise (2-15 ms). Processing limits for longer gaps under decorticate conditions in rats remain unknown. Determining the temporal threshold for subcortical resolution of gaps in noise could, however, shed light on both normal hierarchical processing of acoustic temporal stimuli, as well as the etiology of processing anomalies following developmental cortical disruption. To address these important issues, we assessed whether intact rats, as well as those with induced developmental cortical disruptions (microgyria) could resolve silent gaps of 20-100 ms in duration when embedded in white noise, during functional deactivation of auditory cortex. Results showed that both intact rats, as well as those with cortical malformations resulting from early focal disruptions of neuronal migration could resolve silent gaps of 100-ms duration under cortical deactivation (KCl). However, only intact rats could reliably detect 75-ms gaps, suggesting possible subcortical anomalies in subjects with early cortical disturbances.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Artifacts
  • Auditory Cortex / abnormalities*
  • Auditory Cortex / pathology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiopathology*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cell Movement
  • Craniotomy
  • Denervation
  • Freezing
  • Male
  • Potassium Chloride / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Reflex, Startle / physiology*
  • Sodium Chloride / pharmacology


  • Sodium Chloride
  • Potassium Chloride