Suppression of Single Unit Activity in Cochlear Nucleus of the Cat Following Sound Stimulation
A PERIOD OF SENSORY STIMULATION may alter the perception of subsequent sensory events. After sounds, for example, there may be changes in threshold (19), in the quality of acoustic sensation (20, 29), or tinnitus (20). The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying these alterations in sensation are not well understood. Working with cats, Starr and Livingston (30) described a profound and reversible suppression of summated spontaneous activity in subcortical stations of the auditory pathway as an aftereffect of sustained sound exposure. The period of altered spontaneous activity lengthened as the intensity or duration of the sound was increased. The experiments on single units in cochlear nucleus presented in this report were undertaken to define more precisely the relationship between the physical parameters of the sound stimulus and the period of altered spontaneous activity.