Spiral ganglion cell site of excitation II: Numerical model analysis

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An anatomically based model of cochlear neuron electrophysiology has been developed and used to interpret the physiological responses of the auditory neuron to electrical summation and refractory pulse-pair stimuli. For summation pulses, the summation time constant, τsum, indicates the ability of the membrane to hold charge after cessation of a pulse. When a spiral ganglion cell with a cell body was simulated, the value of τsum was elevated at the peripheral node adjacent to the cell body. For refraction pulses, the refraction time constant, τref, indicates the duration of the relative refractory period of the membrane. In spiral ganglion cell simulations, τref was decreased at the peripheral node adjacent to the cell body and slightly elevated at other peripheral nodes. The extent of the cell body influence on τsum and τref was high localized. Excitation times for the nodes adjacent to the cell body were either simultaneous or near simultaneous resulting in similar response latencies. Results indicate that values of τsum and τref may be useful for distinguishing central and peripheral excitation sites while latency measures alone are not a good indication of site of excitation.

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