Sensory gating of auditory evoked potentials in rats: Effects of repetitive stimulation and the interstimulus interval
SourceBiological Psychology, 55, 3, (2001), pp. 195-213
Article / Letter to editor
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In the P50 gating or conditioning-testing (C-T) paradigm, the P50 response, a small positive midlatency (~50 ms after stimulus onset) component of the human auditory evoked potential (AEP), is reduced towards the second click (S2) as compared to the response to the first click (S1). This phenomenon is called sensory gating. The putative function of sensory gating is thought to protect subjects from being flooded by irrelevant stimuli. Comparative studies have been done in rats in order to elucidate the underlying neural substrate of sensory gating. However, for a direct comparison of rat and human AEP components, it is imperative for both components to show similar characteristics. The amount of sensory gating in humans is dependent on repetitive stimulation and the interstimulus interval (ISI). In the present study effects of repetitive stimulation (Experiment 1) and various ISIs (Experiment 2) were determined on rat AEP components. The results demonstrate that gating is not limited to a restricted cortical area or a single midlatency component and that repetitive stimulation and ISI affect gating of several rat AEP components. Components such as the vertex P17 and N22 show a decrease in gating within several S1-S2 presentations, mainly due to a decrease in amplitude to S1 (Experiment 1). Gating for vertex components (such as the P17, N22 and N50) is ISI dependent (Experiment 2), but there is no interval in the 200-600 ms range at which optimal gating occurs. The ISI effects on gating are due to an increase of the amplitude to S2. The results have implications for the discussion about the rat homologue of the human P50.
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