Functional specializations of primary auditory afferents on the Mauthner cells: Interactions between membrane and synaptic properties

Sebastian Curti, Alberto E. Pereda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Primary auditory afferents are usually perceived as passive, timing-preserving, lines of communication. Contrasting this view, a special class of auditory afferents to teleost Mauthner cells, a command neuron that organizes tail-flip escape responses, undergoes potentiation of their mixed (electrical and chemical) synapses in response to high frequency cellular activity. This property is likely to represent a mechanism of input sensitization as these neurons provide the Mauthner cell with essential information for the initiation of an escape response. We review here the anatomical and physiological specializations of these identifiable auditory afferents. In particular, we discuss how their membrane and synaptic properties act in concert to more efficaciously activate the Mauthner cells. The striking functional specializations of these neurons suggest that primary auditory afferents might be capable of more sophisticated contributions to auditory processing than has been generally recognized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Physiology Paris
Volume104
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010

Keywords

  • Electrical resonance
  • Gap junctions
  • LTP
  • Persistent sodium current
  • Repetitive firing
  • Synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Physiology (medical)

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