Subcortical and cortical components of the MLR generating system

Therese McGee*, Nina Kraus, Carlos Comperatore, Trent Nicol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


The contributions of the auditory thalamo-cortical pathway, mesencephalic reticular formation, and inferior colliculus to the surface recorded auditory middle latency response (MLR) were assessed by selective inactivation of these areas with lidocaine. Evoked responses were recorded simultaneously from these areas and from the cortical surface. Lidocaine-induced changes were compared across recording sites. In the guinea pig, surface components measured from over the temporal lobe (waves A, B and C) and the midline (waves M- and M+) have been previously shown to reflect the activity of two distinct generating mechanisms. Effects of lidocaine injections corresponded to selective changes in components from these two systems. Injections in the medial geniculate body (MGB) were associated with total disruption of surface potentials measured over the temporal lobe, auditory cortex (AC) responses, and local activity in MGB. Thus the thalamo-cortical pathway appears to be important for the generation of MLRs recorded from the surface of the temporal lobe. These injections generally did not alter the surface midline responses or activity obtained from either the mesencephalic reticular formation (mRF) or the inferior colliculus (IC). Lidocaine injections within AC did not alter the basic response morphology of surface potentials, nor were significant changes measured within AC. Lidocaine injections into the mRF produced changes in all surface temporal potentials, the M+ midline surface potential, and in local potentials recorded from MGB and mRF. Injections into the IC changed surface and subcortical responses at all sites. This was the only injection to affect activity at the latency of surface midline wave, M-. This wave may be the animal analogue for human wave Na. Control experiments indicated that the effects observed were specific to the neural inactivation of target areas. The MLR generating system appears to consist of contributions and interactions from multiple areas including the auditory thalamo-cortical pathway, mRF and IC. The animal model and e experimental strategy described appear promising for linking the contributions from specific brain areas to surface MLR waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-220
Number of pages10
JournalBrain research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 29 1991


  • Auditory cortex
  • Auditory evoked potential
  • Generator
  • Guinea pig
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Medial geniculate body
  • Middle latency response
  • Reticular formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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