Changes in auditory thalamus neural firing patterns after acoustic trauma in rats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Tinnitus is an abnormal phantom perception associated with cochlear trauma, and is thought to cause changes in the rates and patterns of firing neurons in the central auditory pathway. Recent studies have suggested a key role for the auditory thalamus, the medial geniculate nucleus (MGN), in the generation of tinnitus as it may serve a gating function for information en route to cortex. Dysfunctional gating would lead to abnormal activity reaching cortex and hence inappropriate perception, tinnitus, would occur. In this study we compared spontaneous MGN firing rates and burst firing parameters in Wistar rats with and without behavioural evidence of tinnitus following an acoustic trauma. Data were also compared with animals subjected to sham surgery and at an early time-point (2 weeks) after acoustic trauma. Acoustic trauma resulted in a temporary but not a permanent threshold loss and no differences were found in spontaneous firing rate between any of the groups. However, acoustic trauma, whether resulting in tinnitus or not, was accompanied by a significant decrease in the percentage of neurons showing burst firing. In bursting neurons, the number of spikes occurring in a burst and the number of burst per minutes was also significantly reduced compared to the sham group. Our results show that in our rat model without permanent threshold loss, elevated spontaneous firing rates are not associated with acoustic trauma and/or tinnitus and that burst firing parameters are associated with acoustic trauma but are not a neural signature for tinnitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-97
Number of pages9
JournalHearing Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in auditory thalamus neural firing patterns after acoustic trauma in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this