Cross-correlation analysis of inhibitory interactions in dorsal cochlear nucleus

J Neurophysiol. 1990 Nov;64(5):1590-610. doi: 10.1152/jn.1990.64.5.1590.


1. Cross-correlation analysis was used to study the organization of inhibitory connections between type II or type III units and type IV principal cells in cat dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN). Pairs of units were isolated using two microelectrodes so that information about the distance over which connections are made could be analyzed. Data were obtained from 51 pairs consisting of a type II and a type IV unit and from 22 pairs consisting of a type III and a type IV unit. The analyses in this paper concentrate on type II-type IV pairs. 2. Inhibitory troughs (ITs) are observed in the cross-correlograms of type II-type IV pairs (21/51 cases). An IT is a transient decrease in discharge probability in the postsynaptic (type IV) unit immediately after spikes in the presynaptic unit (type II). The average latency to the start of ITs is 0.73 ms, and the troughs are asymmetric with a faster leading phase. Small excitatory peaks accompany the ITs in type II units, but these are probably secondary effects associated with the IT. ITs are consistent with a monosynaptic, inhibitory connection between type II and type IV units. A variety of evidence suggests that type II responses are recorded from vertical cells, an interneuron in the deep layer of the DCN that may be glycinergic. 3. The cross-correlograms of type III-type IV pairs are more complex and variable than those of type II-type IV pairs--ITs are seen in 4/22 cases, and peaks of correlation that are symmetrically located around the origin (central mound or CM) are seen in 4/22 cases; two cases have both an IT and a CM. CMs result from shared sources of input. Whereas type II-type IV correlogram features change primarily in amplitude as stimulus conditions change, correlogram features in some type III-type IV pairs change qualitatively with stimulus conditions; correlograms are flat for some stimuli and show ITs or CMs or mixtures of the two for others. This variability suggests that the circuitry associated with type III-type IV pairs is more complex than a monosynaptic connection, and further analysis of type III-type IV pairs was not done. 4. The strength of inhibition for an IT is measured as the area under the IT (effectiveness) and as effectiveness divided by the postsynaptic discharge rate (association index).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cochlea / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Microelectrodes
  • Stereotaxic Techniques
  • Synapses / drug effects