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Brains decompose the world into discrete objects of perception, thereby facing the problem of how to segregate and selectively address similar objects that are concurrently present in a scene. Theoretical models propose that this could be achieved by neuronal implementations of so-called winner-take-all algorithms where neuronal representations of objects(More)
Heterozygous mutations of the human FOXP2 transcription factor gene cause the best-described examples of monogenic speech and language disorders. Acquisition of proficient spoken language involves auditory-guided vocal learning, a specialized form of sensory-motor association learning. The impact of etiological Foxp2 mutations on learning of auditory-motor(More)
Large conductance, voltage- and Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK) channels in inner hair cells (IHCs) of the cochlea are essential for hearing. However, germline deletion of BKα, the pore-forming subunit KCNMA1 of the BK channel, surprisingly did not affect hearing thresholds in the first postnatal weeks, even though altered IHC membrane time constants, decreased(More)
Ap-2 transcription factors comprise a family of 5 closely related sequence-specific DNA binding proteins that play pivotal and non-redundant roles in embryonic organogenesis. To investigate the function of Ap-2δ, wδe analyzed its expression during embryogenesis and generated Ap-2δ-deficient mice. In line with the specific expression pattern of Ap-2δ in the(More)
We have compared the effects of microiontophoretic application of the GABA(A)-receptor antagonists bicuculline (BIC) and gabazine (SR95531) on responses to pure tones and to sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (AM) tones in cells recorded extracellularly from primary auditory cortex (AI) of Mongolian gerbils. Besides similar effects in increasing spontaneous(More)
The auxiliary subunit α2δ3 modulates the expression and function of voltage-gated calcium channels. Here we show that α2δ3 mRNA is expressed in spiral ganglion neurons and auditory brainstem nuclei and that the protein is required for normal acoustic responses. Genetic deletion of α2δ3 led to impaired auditory processing, with reduced acoustic startle and(More)
Throughout the literature, the effects of iontophoretically applied neurotransmitter agonists or antagonists on the local activity of neurons are typically studied at the site of drug application. Recently, we have demonstrated long-range inhibitory interactions within the primary auditory cortex (AI) that are effective in complex acoustic situations. To(More)
Because of its great genetic potential, the mouse (Mus musculus) has become a popular model species for studies on hearing and sound processing along the auditory pathways. Here, we present the first comparative study on the representation of neuronal response parameters to tones in primary and higher-order auditory cortical fields of awake mice. We(More)
Heterozygous mutations of the human FOXP2 gene cause a developmental disorder involving impaired learning and production of fluent spoken language. Previous investigations of its aetiology have focused on disturbed function of neural circuits involved in motor control. However, Foxp2 expression has been found in the cochlea and auditory brain centers and(More)
The effect of oral application of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb 761 on auditory discrimination learning in Mongolian gerbils was investigated using discrimination tasks with three different degrees of difficulty and two protocols for administration starting 2 weeks prior to or at the beginning of training. In comparison to placebo-treated controls we observed(More)