Physiol. Res. 52: 615-628, 2003

Changes in Neuronal Activity of the Inferior Colliculus in Rat after Temporal Inactivation of the Auditory Cortex


Institute of Experimental Medicine, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Received July 1, 2002
Accepted November 1, 2002

The role of cortico-tectal pathways in auditory signal processing was studied in anesthetized rats by comparing the extracellular single unit activity in the inferior colliculus (IC) before and after functional ablation of the auditory cortex (AC) by tetrodotoxin (TTX). The responses of several IC neurons to sound stimuli were simultaneously recorded with a 16-channel electrode probe introduced into the IC. Click-evoked middle latency responses (MLR) recorded from the AC were suppressed for several hours after TTX injection. During AC inactivation the firing rate of IC neurons increased (40 % of neurons), decreased (44 %) or did not change (16 %) in comparison with control conditions. In several IC neurons, TTX injection resulted in alterations in the shape of the rate-level functions. Response thresholds, tuning properties and the type of discharge pattern of IC neurons were not altered during AC inactivation. However, in one-third of the neurons, the initial part of the response was less altered than the later, sustained part. In two-thirds of neuronal pairs, functional decortication resulted in a change in the cross-correlation coefficient. The results reveal the complex changes that appear in IC neuronal activity after functional ablation of the ipsilateral auditory cortex.

Key words
Inferior colliculus • Auditory cortex • Functional ablation • Descending pathway • Neurons

Reprint requests
Dr. Jiří Popelář, Institute of Experimental Medicine , Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Vídeňská 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic, e-mail:

© 2003 by the Institute of Physiology, Czech Academy of Sciences