Presbyacusis reflects dysfunctions present along the central auditory pathway. Given that the topographic representation of the auditory directional spatial map is deteriorated in the superior colliculus of aged animals, therefore, are spectral and temporal auditory processes altered with aging in the rat's superior colliculus? Extracellular single-unit recordings were conducted in the superior colliculus of anesthetized Sprague-Dawley adult (10 months) and aged (22 months) rats. In the spectral domain, level thresholds in aged rats were significantly increased when superior colliculus auditory neurons were stimulated with pure tones or Gaussian noise bursts. The sharpness of the frequency response tuning curve at 10 dB SPL above threshold was also significantly broader among the aged rats. Furthermore, in the temporal domain, the minimal silent gap thresholds to Gaussian noises were significantly longer in aged rats. Hence, these results highlight that spectral and temporal auditory processing in the superior colliculus are impaired during aging.
Neurobiology of Aging – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2017
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