Peter Bäuerle
Doctoral student

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.

Further readings:

He, J. (2003): Corticofugal modulation of the auditory thalamus, Exp. Brain. Res. 153 (4): 579-590
Suga, N. et al. (2002): Plasticity and corticofugal modulation for hearing in adult animals, Neuron 36 (1): 9-18
Suga, N. & Ma, X. (2003): Multiparametric corticofugal modulation and plasticity in the auditory system, Nat.Rev.Neurosci. 4 (10): 783-794
Villa, A. E. et al. (1999): Corticofugal modulation of functional connectivity within the auditory thalamus of rat, guinea pig and cat revealed by cooling deactivation, J.Neurosci.Methods 86 (2): 161-178
Winer, J. A. (2005): Decoding the auditory corticofugal system, Hear.Res.
207 (1-2): 1-9



2006, 2005
Publications 2006

Schützner, P. ; Bäuerle, P. ; Kössl, M. (2006):
Level-dependency of neuronal correlates for auditory streaming in the primary auditory cortex of the Mongolian gerbil.
FENS Abstr 3: A 180.18.

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Publications 2005

Bäuerle, P. ; Kössl, M. (2005):
Frequency organization of the medial geniculate body in the Mongolian gerbil.
Neuroforum 05 (1 Suppl): 107 A

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