Activity patterns of primary auditory-nerve fibres in chickens: Development of fundamental properties

Geoffrey A. Manley, Alexander Kaiser, Jutta Brix, Otto Gleich

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We have examined the activity patterns of single auditory-nerve fibres in the chicken and tested for possible changes during post-hatching development. For this purpose, we recorded from fibres in the cochlear ganglion of chickens of two age groups (about P2 and P21) and investigated their spontaneous and sound-evoked activity patterns under nembutal-chloralhydrate anaesthesia. The spontaneous activity of primary auditory neurones was irregular, the average rates were between 20.5 (P2) and 23 (P21) spikes/s. Many low-frequency fibres from both age groups showed preferred intervals in their spontaneous activity. Tuning characteristics, including the range of characteristic frequencies, the presence of primary and two-tone suppression, the slopes of tuning-curve flanks and Q10 dB values were similar to those previously reported for the starling and were statistically indistinguishable between the two age groups. However, there was a difference in fibre thresholds at the highest frequencies. Systematic differences were also present between the two age groups with regard to some characteristics of the rate-intensity functions. These data indicate that whereas the tuning properties of primary auditory fibres of the chicken cochlea are mature as early as post-hatching day 2, the intensity functions are not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Auditory physiology
  • Bird
  • Chicken
  • Cochlear ganglion
  • Development
  • Primary auditory neurones


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