Selectivity of neural stimulation in the auditory system

A comparison of optic and electric stimuli

Agnella D. Izzo, Eul Suh, Jyoti Pathria, Jay Walsh, Donna S Whitlon, Claus-Peter Richter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pulsed, mid-infrared lasers were recently investigated as a method to stimulate neural activity. There are significant benefits of optically stimulating nerves over electrically stimulating, in particular the application of more spatially confined neural stimulation. We report results from experiments in which the gerbil auditory system was stimulated by optical radiation, acoustic tones, or electric current. Immunohistochemical staining for the protein c-FOS revealed the spread of excitation. We demonstrate a spatially selective activation of neurons using a laser; only neurons in the direct optical path are stimulated. This pattern of c-FOS labeling is in contrast to that after electrical stimulation. Electrical stimulation leads to a large, more spatially extended population of labeled, activated neurons. In the auditory system, optical stimulation of nerves could have a significant impact on the performance of cochlear implants, which can be limited by the electric current spread.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021008
JournalJournal of Biomedical Optics
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

Fingerprint

electric stimuli
stimulation
stimuli
Neurons
Optics
selectivity
neurons
Electric currents
optics
nerves
electric current
Cochlear implants
Infrared lasers
Pulsed lasers
Optical systems
Labeling
staining
Acoustics
optical paths
Chemical activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering

Cite this

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abstract = "Pulsed, mid-infrared lasers were recently investigated as a method to stimulate neural activity. There are significant benefits of optically stimulating nerves over electrically stimulating, in particular the application of more spatially confined neural stimulation. We report results from experiments in which the gerbil auditory system was stimulated by optical radiation, acoustic tones, or electric current. Immunohistochemical staining for the protein c-FOS revealed the spread of excitation. We demonstrate a spatially selective activation of neurons using a laser; only neurons in the direct optical path are stimulated. This pattern of c-FOS labeling is in contrast to that after electrical stimulation. Electrical stimulation leads to a large, more spatially extended population of labeled, activated neurons. In the auditory system, optical stimulation of nerves could have a significant impact on the performance of cochlear implants, which can be limited by the electric current spread.",
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Selectivity of neural stimulation in the auditory system : A comparison of optic and electric stimuli. / Izzo, Agnella D.; Suh, Eul; Pathria, Jyoti; Walsh, Jay; Whitlon, Donna S; Richter, Claus-Peter.

In: Journal of Biomedical Optics, Vol. 12, No. 2, 021008, 01.03.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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