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Journal Article

Large-scale reorganization of the tonotopic map in mouse auditory midbrain revealed by MRI

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Yu, X., Sanes, D., Aristizabal, O., Wadghiri, Y., & Turnbull, D. (2007). Large-scale reorganization of the tonotopic map in mouse auditory midbrain revealed by MRI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(29), 12193-12198. doi:10.1073/pnas.0700960104.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-CB0B-D
The cortex is thought to be the primary site of sensory plasticity, particularly during development. Here, we report that large-scale reorganization of the mouse auditory midbrain tonotopic map is induced by a specific sound-rearing environment consisting of paired low- (16 kHz) and high-frequency (40 kHz) tones. To determine the potential for plasticity in the mouse auditory midbrain, we used manganese-enhanced MRI to analyze the midbrain tonotopic maps of control mice during normal development and mice reared in the two-tone (16 + 40 kHz) environment. We found that the tonotopic map emerged during the third postnatal week in normal mice. Before 3 weeks, a larger percentage of auditory midbrain responded to each of the suprathreshold test frequencies, despite the fact that the primary afferent projections are in place even before hearing onset. By 3 weeks, the midbrain tonotopic map of control mice was established, and manganese-enhanced MRI showed a clear separation between the 16- and 40-kHz responses. Two-tone rearing dramatically altered the appearance of these discrete frequency-specific responses. A significant volume of the auditory midbrain became responsive to both rearing frequencies, resulting in a large-scale reorganization of the tonotopic map. These results indicate that developmental plasticity occurs on a much greater scale than previously appreciated in the mammalian auditory midbrain.