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The Cellular Basis of a Corollary Discharge

Science  27 Jan 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5760, pp. 518-522
DOI: 10.1126/science.1120847

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Abstract

How do animals discriminate self-generated from external stimuli during behavior and prevent desensitization of their sensory pathways? A fundamental concept in neuroscience states that neural signals, termed corollary discharges or efference copies, are forwarded from motor to sensory areas. Neurons mediating these signals have proved difficult to identify. We show that a single, multisegmental interneuron is responsible for the pre- and postsynaptic inhibition of auditory neurons in singing crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus). Therefore, this neuron represents a corollary discharge interneuron that provides a neuronal basis for the central control of sensory responses.

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