Influence of the paraflocculus on normal and abnormal spontaneous firing rates in the inferior colliculus

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    © 2016 Elsevier B.V. Spontaneous firing rates of neurons in the central auditory pathway, such as in the inferior colliculus, are known to be increased after cochlear trauma. This so-called hyperactivity is thought to be involved in the generation of tinnitus, a phantom auditory perception. Recent research in an animal model suggests behavioural signs of tinnitus can be significantly reduced by silencing or removal of the paraflocculus (PF) of the cerebellum. The current study investigated the effects of acute PF removal on spontaneous firing rates recorded from single neurons in the right inferior colliculus of guinea pigs with normal hearing (which did not receive acoustic trauma) or with hearing loss caused by acoustic trauma. Spontaneous firing rates were obtained at either 2 or 13 weeks after initial surgery on the left side. In half of the animals in each group the left PF was removed immediately prior to the spontaneous firing rates recordings. In the acoustic trauma groups, spontaneous firing rates in the inferior colliculus were higher when the PF was removed compared to animals with an intact PF. This effect of PF removal was not observed in animals that did not receive acoustic trauma. These results suggest that the PF has a tonic inhibitory effect on hyperactivity in the inferior colliculus in animals with hearing loss, but not on normal spontaneous firing rates in normal hearing animals.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    Number of pages7
    JournalHearing Research
    Early online date25 Dec 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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