Response Decrements in the Cochlear Nucleus of Decerebrate Cats during Repeated Acoustic Stimulation

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Science  31 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4029, pp. 1488-1491
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4029.1488


In the cochlear nucleus of decerebrate, paralyzed cats, multiple-unit responses to an acoustic stimulus showed significant decrements when the stimulus was repeatedly presented once every 5 seconds. These decrements developed in the absence of peripheral receptor adaptation. The responses recovered to the level prior to stimulation when stimulation was withheld for 5 to 10 minutes. Dishabituation by somatic stimulation of the forepaw, however, was less effective than in the intact cat. The continued development of response decrements after strychnine blockade of peripheral olivocochlear influences and central postsynaptic inhibition suggests a mechanism of decreased synaptic effectiveness, which has previously been postulated for neuronal habituation in brainstem and spinal cord.