Central acoustic tract in an echolocating bat: an extralemniscal auditory pathway to the thalamus.
To determine the sources and targets of auditory pathways that bypass the inferior colliculus in the mustache bat, we injected WGA-HRP in the medial geniculate body and related auditory nuclei of the thalamus as well as in the lower brainstem. We used electrophysiological methods to verify that the injection electrode was in an area responsive to sound. The only thalamic injections that produced retrograde transport to cells in auditory nuclei caudal to the inferior colliculus were those that included the suprageniculate nucleus. These injections labeled a group of large multipolar cells lying between the ventral nucleus of the lateral lemniscus and the superior olivary complex. Neurons in this cell group have also been shown to project to the deep layers of the superior colliculus in the mustache bat. The pathway revealed by these studies is almost identical to the "central acoustic tract" in which fibers course medial to the lateral lemniscus and bypass the inferior colliculus to reach the deep superior colliculus and the suprageniculate nucleus.
Casseday, JH; Kobler, JB; Isbey, SF; Covey, E
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