Development of Tonotopy in the Inferior Colliculus II: 2-DG Measurements in the Kitten


Correspondence to: G. Ehret, as above


The development of size and tonotopy in the inferior colliculus of the kitten was studied using the [14C]2-deoxyglucose technique and tone stimulation with 2 and 15 kHz at a maximum 110 dB sound pressure level. At 2 days of age, frequency-specific labelling cannot be detected. Two kilohertz labelling is distinctly visible in the rostral and central inferior colliculus at day 6; 15 kHz labelling occurs first at day 11. In the rostral and central inferior colliculus, 2 kHz labelling starts at a ventral and central position and shifts dorsalwards and to a more lateral location between postnatal days 6 and 21. Such a shift is not seen in the caudal inferior colliculus. There, the focus of 2 kHz labelling remains rather constant; only the extension of the labelling increases in the older animals. In all parts of the inferior colliculus, 15 kHz labelling starts at a ventromedial position and shifts to a more lateral location while extending also more dorsalwards as the age increases. These changes in 15 kHz labelling continue up to 3 months. In addition to the ventromedial-to-dorsolateral shift and expansion of labelling, there is also a rostral-to-caudal gradient of maturation, in that in older animals frequency-specific labelling reaches farther caudalwards. The reported changes in frequency representation in the inferior colliculus can be explained on the basis of a shift in frequency input and input sensitivity to the laminae of the inferior colliculus, mainly due to maturational changes within the cochlea and/or as a consequence of the increasing size of the inferior colliculus.