• auditory;
  • hearing;
  • peroxidases;
  • cytology;
  • anatomy


The cat cochlear nuclear complex (CNC) is divided into three major subdivisions: the anteroventral, the posteroventral, and the dorsal cochlear nuclei (AVCN, PVCN, and DCN, respectively). Each of these subdivisions receives a topographic projection from the cochlea and each consists of a number of different cell types. The interconnections between these subdivisions and the cell types which give rise to them were studied by means of small injections of horseradish peroxidase (HRP) made at physiologically identified locations. DCN injections resulted in few labeled cells in the DCN, suggesting that its internal connections are very limited. In contrast, these same DCN injections resulted in numerous labeled cells in the PVCN and AVCN. Labeled PVCN cells, consisting of multipolar, octopus, and small spindle-shaped cells, were located in spatially restricted laminae stretching the entire rostrocaudal length of the nucleus, while labeled AVCN cells consisting of multipolar, globular, small spindle-shaped and small spherical cells were broadly distributed over the posterior half of the nucleus. Similar injections placed in the PVCN resulted in numerous labeled cells in all three subdivisions. The PVCN and AVCN cells labeled after PVCN injections were widely distributed across the isofrequency representations in both nuclei, while the labeled DCN cells were restricted to locations over the injection sites. Injections placed in the posterior half of the AVCN resulted in only very few labeled cells in the DCN. No cells were labeled following injections in the rostral AVCN.