Acute inactivation of primary auditory cortex causes a sound localisation deficit in ferrets
Wood KC., Town SM., Atilgan H., Jones GP., Bizley JK.
The objective of this study was to demonstrate the efficacy of acute inactivation of brain areas by cooling in the behaving ferret and to demonstrate that cooling auditory cortex produced a localisation deficit that was specific to auditory stimuli. The effect of cooling on neural activity was measured in anesthetized ferret cortex. The behavioural effect of cooling was determined in a benchmark sound localisation task in which inactivation of primary auditory cortex (A1) is known to impair performance. Cooling strongly suppressed the spontaneous and stimulusevoked firing rates of cortical neurons when the cooling loop was held at temperatures below 10?C, and this suppression was reversed when the cortical temperature recovered. Cooling of ferret auditory cortex during behavioural testing impaired sound localisation performance, with unilateral cooling producing selective deficits in the hemifield contralateral to cooling, and bilateral cooling producing deficits on both sides of space. The deficit in sound localisation induced by inactivation of A1 was not caused by motivational or locomotor changes since inactivation of A1 did not affect localisation of visual stimuli in the same context.