Pulse repetition rate increases the minimum threshold and latency of auditory neurons

Brain Res. 1994 Aug 15;654(1):155-8. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(94)91582-2.


The effect of pulse repetition rate on auditory sensitivity of the big brown bat, Eptesicus fuscus, was studied by determining the minimum threshold, response latency and recovery cycle of inferior collicular neurons at different repetition rates under free field stimulation conditions. In general, collicular neurons shortened the response latency and increased the number of impulses monotonically or non-monotonically with stimulus intensity. They recovered at least 50% when the interpulse interval was 10-57 ms. In addition, they increased the minimum threshold, lengthened the response latency, and reduced the number of impulses discharged to each pulse with increasing repetition rate. The increase in minimum threshold with repetition rate is partly because the neuron can not recover from previous stimulation when the interpulse interval is shortened. This increase reduces a neuron's response sensitivity and thus diminishes its number of impulses to each presented pulse. This increase also reduces the effectiveness of a given stimulus intensity which contributes to the lengthening of the neuron's response latency. Data obtained from single neuron recordings are used to highlight these observations. Implications of present findings regarding the bat's echolocation are also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation*
  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology*
  • Bicuculline / pharmacology
  • Chiroptera / physiology*
  • Inferior Colliculi / cytology
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*


  • Bicuculline