Research projectEffects of corticofugal modulation in the auditory thalamus
The corticothalamic system is not only among the largest pathways in the brain but the thalamus is also the main sensory input source to the mammalian cortex. In contrast to a merely `static` cumulative analysis along the ascending pathway, feedback mechanisms and efferent modulation play a crucial role for information processing. Following the central part of the auditory system, information is relayed from the inferior colliculus (IC, midbrain) via the medial geniculate body (MGB, thalamus) to the auditory cortex. Corresponding to this ascending pathway there are massive descending cortical projections (corticofugal) which adjust and improve auditory signal processing in the subcortical auditory nuclei. Corticofugal modulation influences a broad range of neuronal tuning properties like spontaneous activity, minimum threshold, spatial tuning and receptive field properties.
The aim of this study is to investigate corticofugal modulation effects on primary sensory relay neurons in the ventral part of the MGB (vMGB). For this purpose I am working with the Mongolian gerbil, a well-established model organism for auditory research. As experimental approach I combine electrophysiological multi-electrode recording of corresponding areas in the AC and MGB with focal electrical cortical stimulation.
He, J. (2003): Corticofugal modulation of the auditory thalamus, Exp. Brain. Res. 153 (4): 579-590
Schützner, P. ; Bäuerle, P. ; Kössl, M. (2006):
Bäuerle, P. ; Kössl, M. (2005):