ON and OFF auditory responses were examined on the medial geniculate body (MGB) of the guinea pig. Single-unit and multiunit recordings were performed on 13 anesthetized subjects while either noise-burst or pure-tone stimuli were applied to the ear contralateral to the recorded hemisphere. Of 2187 uneven-spaced samples, 1142 were ON neurons, 386 were OFF neurons, and 488 were ON-OFF neurons. Neither ON nor OFF neurons changed their response patterns when the stimulus was changed from a noise burst of 60 dB sound pressure level intensity (expressed in decibels per 20 mPa) to pure tones or noise bursts of other intensities. However, most of the ON-OFF neurons changed to either ON or OFF responses with some stimuli. OFF neurons formed clusters. With anatomical confirmation, we found that OFF neuron clusters are always segregated from ON neuron clusters and form OFF sheets in various divisions of the MGB. In the ventral division of the MGB (MGv), the neurons showed mainly ON responses in its core and OFF responses in its periphery or on its boundary with other divisions. The MGv was partially surrounded by an OFF sheet dorsolaterally at the caudal part and medioventrally at the rostral part and was almost completely surrounded by an OFF sheet at the central level rostrocaudally.
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