Phase-locked responses to tones of chinchilla auditory nerve fibers: Implications for apical cochlear mechanics

Andrei N. Temchin, Mario A. Ruggero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Responses to tones with frequency ≤5 kHz were recorded from auditory nerve fibers (ANFs) of anesthetized chinchillas. With increasing stimulus level, discharge rate-frequency functions shift toward higher and lower frequencies, respectively, for ANFs with characteristic frequencies (CFs) lower and higher than ∼0.9 kHz. With increasing frequency separation from CF, rate-level functions are less steep and/or saturate at lower rates than at CF, indicating a CF-specific nonlinearity. The strength of phase locking has lower high-frequency cutoffs for CFs > 4 kHz than for CFs < 3 kHz. Phase-frequency functions of ANFs with CFs lower and higher than ∼0.9 kHz have inflections, respectively, at frequencies higher and lower than CF. For CFs > 2 kHz, the inflections coincide with the tiptail transitions of threshold tuning curves. ANF responses to CF tones exhibit cumulative phase lags of 1.5 periods for CFs 0.7-3 kHz and lesser amounts for lower CFs. With increases of stimulus level, responses increasingly lag (lead) lower-level responses at frequencies lower (higher) than CF, so that group delays are maximal at, or slightly above, CF. The CF-specific magnitude and phase nonlinearities of ANFs with CFs < 2.5 kHz span their entire response bandwidths. Several properties of ANFs undergo sharp transitions in the cochlear region with CFs 2-5 kHz. Overall, the responses of chinchilla ANFs resemble those in other mammalian species but contrast with available measurements of apical cochlear vibrations in chinchilla, implying that either the latter are flawed or that a nonlinear "second filter" is interposed between vibrations and ANF excitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-318
Number of pages22
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

Keywords

  • Basilar membrane
  • Cochlear apex
  • Phase-frequency functions
  • Rate-frequency functions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems

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