Heterosynaptic long-term facilitation of sensory-evoked responses in the auditory cortex by stimulation of the magnocellular medial geniculate body in guinea pigs

Behav Neurosci. 1995 Feb;109(1):10-7. doi: 10.1037//0735-7044.109.1.10.


The magnocellular nucleus of the medial geniculate body (MGm) develops physiological plasticity during classical conditioning and may be involved in learning-induced receptive field plasticity in the auditory cortex. To determine the ability of the MGm to produce long-term modification of evoked activity in the auditory cortex, the experimenters paired electrical stimulation of the MGm with preceding clicks in adult guinea pigs under barbiturate anesthesia. The amplitudes of average click-evoked potentials were significantly facilitated in all subjects. Facilitation endured for 2 hr, the maximum duration of recording. Sham-stimulated control guinea pigs did not develop facilitation. Thus, a nonlemniscal thalamic sensory nucleus can produce enduring facilitation of sensory-evoked activity in primary sensory cortex, suggesting that long-term physiological plasticity in the sensory cortex during learning may involve nonlemniscal thalamic mechanisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Auditory Cortex / physiology*
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Conditioning, Classical / physiology*
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology*
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Long-Term Potentiation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Thalamic Nuclei / physiology