Cochlear compound action potentials from high-level tone bursts originate from wide cochlear regions that are offset toward the most sensitive cochlear region

C. Lee, J. J. Guinan, M. A. Rutherford, W. A. Kaf, K. M. Kennedy, C. A. Buchman, A. N. Salt, J. T. Lichtenhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cochlear compound action potentials from high-level tone bursts originate from wide cochlear regions that are offset toward the most sensitive cochlear region. J Neurophysiol 121: 1018 –1033, 2019. First published January 23, 2019; doi:10.1152/jn.00677.2018.—Little is known about the spatial origins of auditory nerve (AN) compound action potentials (CAPs) evoked by moderate to intense sounds. We studied the spatial origins of AN CAPs evoked by 2-to 16-kHz tone bursts at several sound levels by slowly injecting kainic acid solution into the cochlear apex of anesthetized guinea pigs. As the solution flowed from apex to base, it sequentially reduced CAP responses from low-to high-frequency cochlear regions. The times at which CAPs were reduced, combined with the cochlear location traversed by the solution at that time, showed the cochlear origin of the removed CAP component. For low-level tone bursts, the CAP origin along the cochlea was centered at the characteristic frequency (CF). As sound level increased, the CAP center shifted basally for low-frequency tone bursts but apically for high-frequency tone bursts. The apical shift was surprising because it is opposite the shift expected from AN tuning curve and basilar membrane motion asymmetries. For almost all high-level tone bursts, CAP spatial origins extended over 2 octaves along the cochlea. Surprisingly, CAPs evoked by high-level low-frequency (including 2 kHz) tone bursts showed little CAP contribution from CF regions ≤ 2 kHz. Our results can be mostly explained by spectral splatter from the tone-burst rise times, excitation in AN tuning-curve “tails,” and asynchronous AN responses to high-level energy ≤ 2 kHz. This is the first time CAP origins have been identified by a spatially specific technique. Our results show the need for revising the interpretation of the cochlear origins of high-level CAPs-ABR wave 1. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Cochlear compound action potentials (CAPs) and auditory brain stem responses (ABRs) are routinely used in laboratories and clinics. They are typically interpreted as arising from the cochlear region tuned to the stimulus frequency. However, as sound level is increased, the cochlear origins of CAPs from tone bursts of all frequencies become very wide and their centers shift toward the most sensitive cochlear region. The standard interpretation of CAPs and ABRs from moderate to intense stimuli needs revision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1033
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Volume121
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Auditory brain stem response
  • Cochlear action potential
  • Electrocochleography
  • Kainic acid
  • Synaptopathy

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cochlear compound action potentials from high-level tone bursts originate from wide cochlear regions that are offset toward the most sensitive cochlear region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this