The cochlear nucleus is the site in the auditory pathway where the primary sensory information carried by the fibres of the acoustic nerve is transmitted to the second-order neurones. According to the generally accepted view this transmission is not a simple relay process but is considered as the first stage where the decoding of the auditory information begins. This notion is based on the diverse neurone composition and highly ordered structure of the nucleus, on the complex electrophysiological properties and activity patterns of the neurones, on the activity of local and descending modulatory mechanisms and on the presence of a highly sophisticated intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis. This review puts emphasis on introducing the experimental findings supporting the above statements and on the questions which should be answered in order to gain a better understanding of the function of the cochlear nucleus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)