Basic response characteristics of auditory nerve fibers in the grassfrog (Rana temporaria)

Hear Res. 1998 May;119(1-2):155-63. doi: 10.1016/s0378-5955(98)00047-1.


Responses to free-field sound of 401 fibers from the VIIIth nerve of the grassfrog, Rana temporaria, are described. The spontaneous activities of the fibers ranged from 0 to 75 spikes/s, showing only weak correlation with frequency or sensitivity of the fibers. The highest spontaneous activities were approximately twice as high as reported previously for frogs. Best frequencies ranged from 100 to 1600 Hz and thresholds ranged from 21 to 80 dB SPL. The median dynamic range was 20 dB and the slopes of the rate-level curves ranged from 5 to 20 spikes/(s-dB). Most of the units showed post-excitatory suppression (PS) of their spontaneous activity. The duration of PS increased with sound level, also in fibers showing a decrease in firing rate at high intensities. Most fibers showing one-tone suppression did not show PS at their best suppression frequencies. Strong suppression was observed also in very phasic cells giving one spike per stimulation. Therefore, the mechanism underlying PS is probably different from that underlying adaptation. The sharpening of the neural encoding of temporal parameters and the strong encoding of sound offset as well as onset caused by PS very likely is biologically important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Nerve Fibers / physiology*
  • Rana temporaria
  • Vestibulocochlear Nerve / physiology*