Evidence for an alteration of the tonotopic map in the gerbil cochlea during development

Dan H. Sanes, Michael Merickel, Edwin W. Rubel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have investigated developmental alterations in the tonotopic projection of the gerbil lateral superior olive. Single neurons were characterized in the frequency domain and the recording site marked with fast green. Transverse tissue sections from the auditory brainstem of each animal were visualized with a video‐equipped microscope, and the image was digitized for subsequent alignment. The three‐dimensional display indicated little variation in the rostrocaudal axis, allowing us to collapse the data into a two‐dimensional tonotopic map. The tonotopic map was found to change with age such that the characterstic frequency of neurons in a given anatomical location became successively higher during development. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the place code gradually shifts in the developing cochlea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 15 1989


  • auditory
  • image analysis
  • lateral superior olive
  • ontogeny
  • tonotopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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