Antidromic responses of single units from the spiral ganglion

J Neurophysiol. 1994 May;71(5):1835-47. doi: 10.1152/jn.1994.71.5.1835.


1. Antidromic responses of single units in the guinea pig spiral ganglion were recorded in response to shocks to the auditory nerve root. The orthodromic responses of these units were also recorded in response to sound. The aim of this study was 1) to classify units according to their response patterns to shocks and to sound and 2) to propose anatomic types that might correlate with these responses. The four classes of units were as follows: type I, olivocochlear (OC), long-latency: locked, and long-latency: jittering. 2. Type I units responded antidromically to shocks with little jitter and short latency. Their responses to sound were also of short latency and had irregular interspike intervals. Some of these units had complex spike waveforms. These units likely correspond to type I primary afferent neurons, the majority population of spiral ganglion cells. 3. One-third of the OC units responded to shocks, with little jitter and intermediate latency (2 ms). OC unit responses to sound were of long latency and had regular interspike intervals. These units likely correspond to efferent neurons that originate in the superior olivary complex of the brain and end on outer hair cells in the cochlea. 4. Long-latency: locked units responded to shocks with little jitter and long latency (4-11 ms). Many of these units had complex spike waveforms and most did not respond to high-level noise bursts. Long-latency: locked units may correspond to type II spiral ganglion neurons. 5. Long-latency: jittering units responded to shocks with a jitter of several milliseconds and long latency. Some of these units responded to sound in a pattern reminiscent of OC units. These units may constitute a subgroup of OC units that respond to shocks via activation of the reflex pathway from the cochlea to the superior olive and back out to the cochlea. 6. Further data were collected on the type I response to shocks. Antidromic spikes lacked the inflections seen on the waveforms that are typically seen on orthodromic spikes. Type I shock responses depended on shock level and duration and were reduced when a click preceded the shock by approximately 2 ms. Several type I characteristics depended on the rate of spontaneous discharge: for units of low and medium spontaneous rates (when compared with units of high rates), the shock thresholds were lower, shock latencies were longer, and the probability of firing repetitive spikes to a single shock was higher.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Pathways / physiology
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cochlear Nucleus / physiology
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Evoked Potentials, Auditory / physiology
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / physiology
  • Neurons / classification
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Olivary Nucleus / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Spiral Ganglion / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission / physiology*
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiology*