Electrophysiological properties of isthmic neurons in frogs revealed by in vitro and in vivo studies

Matthew S. Caudill, Adam T. Eggebrecht, Edward R. Gruberg, Ralf Wessel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The frog nucleus isthmi (parabigeminal nucleus in mammals) is a visually responsive, cholinergic and anatomically well-defined group of neurons in the midbrain. It shares reciprocal topographic projections with the ipsilateral optic tectum (superior colliculus in mammals) and strongly influences visual processing. Anatomical and biochemical information indicates the existence of distinct neural populations within the frog nucleus isthmi, which raises the question: are there electrophysiological distinctions between neurons that are putatively classified by their anatomical and biochemical properties? To address this question, we measured frog nucleus isthmi neuron cellular properties in vitro and visual response properties in vivo. No evidence for distinct electrophysiological classes of neurons was found. We thus conclude that, despite the anatomical and biochemical differences, the cells of the frog nucleus isthmi respond homogeneously to both current injections and simple visual stimuli.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-262
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010


  • Cholinergic
  • Feedback
  • Nucleus isthmi
  • Optic Tectum
  • Vision


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