Background: Cortical neurons implement a high frequency-specific modulation of subcortical nuclei that includes the cochlear nucleus. Anatomical studies show that corticofugal fibers terminating in the auditory thalamus and midbrain are mostly ipsilateral. Differently, corticofugal fibers terminating in the cochlear nucleus are bilateral, which fits to the needs of binaural hearing that improves hearing quality. This leads to our hypothesis that corticofugal modulation of initial neural processing of sound information from the contralateral and ipsilateral ears could be equivalent or coordinated at the first sound processing level. Methodology/Principal Findings: With the focal electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex and single unit recording, this study examined corticofugal modulation of the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus. The same methods and procedures as described in our previous study of corticofugal modulation of contralateral cochlear nucleus were employed simply for comparison. We found that focal electrical stimulation of cortical neurons induced substantial changes in the response magnitude, response latency and receptive field of ipsilateral cochlear nucleus neurons. Cortical stimulation facilitated auditory response and shortened the response latency of physiologically matched neurons whereas it inhibited auditory response and lengthened the response latency of unmatched neurons. Finally, cortical stimulation shifted the best frequencies of cochlear neurons towards those of stimulated cortical neurons. Conclusion: Our data suggest that cortical neurons enable a high frequency-specific remodelling of sound information processing in the ipsilateral cochlear nucleus in the same manner as that in the contralateral cochlear nucleus. © 2010 Liu et al.
Liu, X., Yan, Y., Wang, Y., & Yan, J. (2010). Corticofugal modulation of initial neural processing of sound information from the ipsilateral ear in the mouse. PLoS ONE, 5(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014038