Document Detail


Detection thresholds of macaque otolith afferents.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22699911     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
The vestibular system is our sixth sense and is important for spatial perception functions, yet the sensory detection and discrimination properties of vestibular neurons remain relatively unexplored. Here we have used signal detection theory to measure detection thresholds of otolith afferents using 1 Hz linear accelerations delivered along three cardinal axes. Direction detection thresholds were measured by comparing mean firing rates centered on response peak and trough (full-cycle thresholds) or by comparing peak/trough firing rates with spontaneous activity (half-cycle thresholds). Thresholds were similar for utricular and saccular afferents, as well as for lateral, fore/aft, and vertical motion directions. When computed along the preferred direction, full-cycle direction detection thresholds were 7.54 and 3.01 cm/s(2) for regular and irregular firing otolith afferents, respectively. Half-cycle thresholds were approximately double, with excitatory thresholds being half as large as inhibitory thresholds. The variability in threshold among afferents was directly related to neuronal gain and did not depend on spike count variance. The exact threshold values depended on both the time window used for spike count analysis and the filtering method used to calculate mean firing rate, although differences between regular and irregular afferent thresholds were independent of analysis parameters. The fact that minimum thresholds measured in macaque otolith afferents are of the same order of magnitude as human behavioral thresholds suggests that the vestibular periphery might determine the limit on our ability to detect or discriminate small differences in head movement, with little noise added during downstream processing.
Authors:
Xiong-Jie Yu; J David Dickman; Dora E Angelaki
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience     Volume:  32     ISSN:  1529-2401     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Neurosci.     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-06-15     Completed Date:  2012-09-24     Revised Date:  2013-07-12    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8102140     Medline TA:  J Neurosci     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  8306-16     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Action Potentials / physiology
Animals
Head Movements / physiology
Macaca
Male
Motion Perception / physiology*
Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
Otolithic Membrane / innervation,  physiology*
Sensory Thresholds / physiology*
Vestibular Nerve / physiology
Grant Support
ID/Acronym/Agency:
R01 DC004260/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS; R01 DC04260/DC/NIDCD NIH HHS
Comments/Corrections

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