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Synaptic mechanisms of forward suppression in rat auditory cortex.
Wehr M, Zador AM
Neuron 2005 Aug 4 47(3):437-45 [abstract on PubMed] [related articles] [order article]
Selected by | Matteo Carandini
Evaluated 12 Aug 2005
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Matteo Carandini
Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, United States of America

New Finding
This paper reveals a prime example of suppression without inhibition in sensory cortex. Using intracellular in vivo methods, the authors studied two-tone suppression (forward masking) in primary auditory cortex, and tested the widely held view that suppression is due to prolonged synaptic inhibition. They discovered that suppression far outlasts inhibition, implying that additional mechanisms, possibly synaptic, are at work. These results resonate with earlier ones from the visual system: two-flash suppression (forward masking) is strong in primary visual cortex {1}, but is not due to inhibition {2}. Both findings remind us that it is not always wise to equate suppression of cortical responses with inhibition. The similarity across modalities suggests once more that understanding one area of sensory cortex will help understand the others. {1} Nelson SB, J Neurosci 1991, 11:344-356 [PMID:1992005]; {2} Nelson SB, J Neurosci 1991, 11:369-380 [PMID:1992007].

Evaluated 12 Aug 2005
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