Tonic effects of the dopaminergic ventral midbrain on the auditory cortex of awake macaque monkeys

Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Mar;221(2):969-77. doi: 10.1007/s00429-014-0950-2. Epub 2014 Nov 30.


This study shows that ongoing electrical stimulation of the dopaminergic ventral midbrain can modify neuronal activity in the auditory cortex of awake primates for several seconds. This was reflected in a decrease of the spontaneous firing and in a bidirectional modification of the power of auditory evoked potentials. We consider that both effects are due to an increase in the dopamine tone in auditory cortex induced by the electrical stimulation. Thus, the dopaminergic ventral midbrain may contribute to the tonic activity in auditory cortex that has been proposed to be involved in associating events of auditory tasks (Brosch et al. Hear Res 271:66-73, 2011) and may modulate the signal-to-noise ratio of the responses to auditory stimuli.

Keywords: Auditory cortex; Deep brain stimulation; Dopamine; Primate; Ventral tegmental area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory
  • Macaca fascicularis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mesencephalon / physiology*
  • Wakefulness


  • Dopamine