Sodium salicylate improves detection of amplitude-modulated sound in mice

Maurits M. van den Berg, Aaron B. Wong, Ghais Houtak, Ross S. Williamson, J. Gerard G. Borst*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Salicylate is commonly used to induce tinnitus in animals, but its underlying mechanism of action is still debated. We therefore tested its effects on the firing properties of neurons in the mouse inferior colliculus (IC). Salicylate induced a large decrease in the spontaneous activity and an increase of ∼20 dB SPL in the minimum threshold of single units. In response to sinusoidally modulated noise (SAM noise) single units showed both an increase in phase locking and improved rate coding. Mice also became better at detecting amplitude modulations, and a simple threshold model based on the IC population response could reproduce this improvement. The responses to dynamic random chords (DRCs) suggested that the improved AM encoding was due to a linearization of the cochlear output, resulting in larger contrasts during SAM noise. These effects of salicylate are not consistent with the presence of tinnitus, but should be taken into account when studying hyperacusis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109691
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2024

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