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Straka, Hans ORCID: 0000-0003-2874-0441; Biesdorf, Stefan; Dieringer, Norbert (2000): Spatial distribution of semicircular canal nerve evoked monosynaptic response components in frog vestibular nuclei. In: Brain Research, Vol. 880, No. 1/2: pp. 70-83
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Most second-order vestibular neurons receive a canal-specific monosynaptic excitation, although the central projections of semicircular canal afferents overlap extensively. This remarkable canal specificity prompted us to study the spatial organization of evoked field potentials following selective stimulation of individual canal nerves. Electrically evoked responses in the vestibular nuclei were mapped systematically in vitro. Constructed activation maps were superimposed on a cytoarchitectonically defined anatomical map. The spatial activation maps For pre- and postsynaptic response components evoked by stimulation of a given canal nerve were similar. Activation maps for monosynaptic inputs from different canals tended to show a differential distribution of their peak amplitudes, although the overlap was considerable. Anterior vertical canal signals peaked in the superior vestibular nucleus, posterior vertical canal signals peaked in the descending and in the dorsal part of the lateral vestibular nucleus, whereas horizontal canal signals peaked in the descending and in the ventral part of the lateral vestibular nucleus. A similar, differential but overlapping, spatial organization of the canal inputs was described also for other vertebrates. suggesting a crude but rather conservative topographical organization of semicircular canal nerve projections within the vestibular nuclei. Differences in the precision of topological representations between vestibular and other sensory modalities are discussed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.