Time and intensity coding at the hair cell's ribbon synapse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The activity of individual afferent neurones in the mammalian cochlea can be driven by neurotransmitter released from a single synaptic ribbon in a single inner hair cell. Thus, a ribbon synapse must be able to transmit all the information on sound frequency, intensity and timing carried centrally. This task is made still more demanding by the process of binaural sound localization that utilizes separate computations of time and intensity, with temporal resolution as fine as 10 μs in central nuclei. These computations may rely in part on the fact that the response phase (at the characteristic frequency) of individual afferent neurones is invariant with intensity. Somehow, the ribbon synapse can provide stronger synaptic drive to signal varying intensity, without accompanying changes in transmission time that ordinarily occur during chemical neurotransmission. Recent ultrastructural and functional studies suggest features of the ribbon that may underlie these capabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physiology
Volume566
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005

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Synapses
Afferent Neurons
Inner Auditory Hair Cells
Sound Localization
Cochlea
Synaptic Transmission
Neurotransmitter Agents
Drive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

Cite this

Time and intensity coding at the hair cell's ribbon synapse. / Fuchs, Paul Albert.

In: Journal of Physiology, Vol. 566, No. 1, 01.07.2005, p. 7-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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