Gaumond et al. [(1982) J. Neurophysiol. 48, 856-873] showed in the cat that a multiplicative-intensity model can generally account quite well for reduction of the probability of an auditory-nerve spike by another spike preceding it by 4 to 25 ms, and that for smaller separations there is also an increased latency of the following spike. Bosch [(1990) D. Sc. Dissertation, Washington University, St. Louis, MO] made important improvements in experimental design and estimation techniques for studying these effects, and confirmed their presence in the gerbil. However, direct application of these methods to the frog does not yield reliable estimates. A clearer separation of discharge probability and latency effects in frog basilar papilla units is provided by the paired-click paradigm used in this study, which is applicable to low-spontaneous-rate units that generally respond to click stimuli with zero or one spike within a short interval following the click. The results confirm the existence in the frog of both spike-probability and spike-latency effects that are qualitatively similar to those found in mammals, although the absolute refractory time is much longer in frog, and the relative refractory time usually shorter. The paired-click paradigm also reveals a stimulus-history effect at stimulus levels which are near threshold: when there is no response to the first click, responses to the second click occur with increased probability and reduced latency.
- Auditory nerve
- Spike discharge