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Morphology of the cat auditory cortex

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The ultrastructural features of the primary auditory cortex of the cats and the character of the endings of geniculo-cortical afferent fibers in the early stages of experimental degeneration evoked by destruction of the medial geniculate body were studied. In all layers of the cortex asymmetrical synapses with round synaptic vesicles on dendritic spines and on thin dendritic branches of pyramidal and nonpyramidal neurons are predominant. Symmetrical synapses with flattened or polymorphic vesicles are distributed chiefly on the bodies of the neurons and their large dendrites. Because there are few symmetrical synapses which could be regarded as inhibitory it is postulated that inhibitory influences may also be transmitted through asymmetrical synapses with round vesicles. Other types of contacts between the bodies of neurons, dendrites, and glial processes also were found in the auditory cortex. Degenerating terminals of geniculo-cortical fibers were shown to terminate chiefly in layer IV of the cortex on pyramidal and nonpyramidal neurons. Degeneration was of the dark type in asymmetrical synapses with round vesicles. The results are dicussed in connection with electrophysiological investigations of the auditory cortex.

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Additional information

A. A. Bogomolets Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR, Kiev. Translated from Neirofiziologiya, Vol. 5, No. 5, pp. 519–524, September–October, 1973.

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Genis, E.D., Serkov, F.N. & Maiskii, V.A. Morphology of the cat auditory cortex. Neurophysiology 5, 399–407 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01068001

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  • Synaptic Vesicle
  • Dendritic Spine
  • Auditory Cortex
  • Afferent Fiber
  • Ultrastructural Feature