Visual deprivation modifies auditory directional tuning in the inferior colliculus

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The aim of this study was to assess whether early visual deprivation could modulate the auditory directional tunings of single neurons in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus of the rat. Extracellular recordings were carried out in normal and early bilaterally enucleated rats. Direction-specific auditory neurons were found in both groups, and no evidence was found for a topographical order of best azimuthal direction. Although the distribution of best azimuthal direction was unaltered in enucleated rats, our data suggest that early visual deprivation modifies the width of auditory directional receptive fields in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus. This suggests that visual input plays a substantial role in refining auditory receptive fields in the inferior colliculus.

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