Stimulus-timing dependent multisensory plasticity in the guinea pig dorsal cochlear nucleus

PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59828. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059828. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Multisensory neurons in the dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) show long-lasting enhancement or suppression of sound-evoked responses when stimulated with combined somatosensory-auditory stimulation. By varying the intervals between sound and somatosensory stimuli we show for the first time in vivo that DCN bimodal responses are influenced by stimulus-timing dependent plasticity. The timing rules and time courses of the observed stimulus-timing dependent plasticity closely mimic those of spike-timing dependent plasticity that have been demonstrated in vitro at parallel-fiber synapses onto DCN principal cells. Furthermore, the degree of inhibition in a neuron influences whether that neuron has Hebbian or anti-Hebbian timing rules. As demonstrated in other cerebellar-like circuits, anti-Hebbian timing rules reflect adaptive filtering, which in the DCN would result in suppression of sound-evoked responses that are predicted by activation of somatosensory inputs, leading to the suppression of body-generated signals such as self-vocalization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Cochlear Nucleus / cytology
  • Cochlear Nucleus / physiology*
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Time Factors