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Anatomical bases of binaural interaction in auditory brain-stem responses from guinea pig


There is a non-linear interaction of binaural stimulation on auditory brain-stem potentials in both human and animals. The interaction takes the form of the binaurally evoked ABR being of smaller amplitude than the sum of the monaurally evoked ABRs. In the guinea pig this interaction occurs at the time of components P4, N4 and P5. In order to investigate the generator sites of binaural interaction in the ABR, various lesions were made in the brain-stem auditory system in 29 guinea pigs. The effects of those lesions on binaural interaction were as follows: (1) unilateral lesion of lateral lemniscus or bilateral lesions of the inferior colliculi had no significant effect on binaural interaction; (2) transection of the lateral lemnisci bilaterally was associated with a loss of the component of binaural interaction associated in time with N4; (3) a lesion just lateral to the lateral superior olivary complex resulted in an attenuation of the component of binaural interaction associated in time with P4; (4) complete section of the decussating fibers of the trapezoid body or a complete unilateral lesion of the superior olivary complex led to a loss of all components of binaural interaction. These results suggest that binaural interaction in the guinea pig ABR requires the integrity of several distinct portions of the brain-stem auditory pathway, i.e., both lateral lemnisci are required for the interaction occurring at the time of N4; the brain-stem just lateral to the lateral superior olive participates in the interaction at the time of P4. The trapezoid body and superior olivary nucleus are required for binaural interaction at P4, N4 and P5.

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