Variation in response dynamics of regular and irregular vestibular-nerve afferents during sinusoidal head rotations and currents in the chinchilla

Kyu Sung Kim, Lloyd B. Minor, Charles C.Della Santina, David M. Lasker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In mammals, vestibular-nerve afferents that innervate only type I hair cells (calyx-only afferents) respond nearly in phase with head acceleration for high-frequency motion, whereas afferents that innervate both type I and type II (dimorphic) or only type II (bouton-only) hair cells respond more in phase with head velocity. Afferents that exhibit irregular background discharge rates have a larger phase lead re-head velocity than those that fire more regularly. The goal of this study was to investigate the cause of the variation in phase lead between regular and irregular afferents at high-frequency head rotations. Under the assumption that externally applied galvanic currents act directly on the nerve, we derived a transfer function describing the dynamics of a semicircular canal and its hair cells through comparison of responses to sinusoidally modulated head velocity and currents. Responses of all afferents were fit well with a transfer function with one zero (lead term). Best-fit lead terms describing responses to current for each group of afferents were similar to the lead term describing responses to head velocity for regular afferents (0.006 s + 1). This finding indicated that the pre-synaptic and synaptic inputs to regular afferents were likely to be pure velocity transducers. However, the variation in phase lead between regular and irregular afferents could not be explained solely by the ratio of type I to II hair cells (Baird et al 1988), suggesting that the variation was caused by a combination of pre- (type of hair cell) and post-synaptic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-649
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Volume210
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2011

Keywords

  • Bouton
  • Calyx
  • Galvanic
  • Hair cell
  • Model
  • Semicircular canal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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