Central auditory neurotransmitters

Richard A. Altschuler and Susan E. Shore

in The Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: The Auditory Brain

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233281
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Central auditory neurotransmitters

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology


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This article reviews neurotransmitters and receptors in the auditory pathway and discusses the major transmitter classes in the core ascending auditory pathway and describes the characteristics of their receptors. It emphasizes the importance of both the inhibitory and excitatory amino acids as major determinants of information transfer along the core ascending auditory pathways. The balance of synaptic strength between these inhibitory and excitatory influences plays a key role in the actions of individual neurons in normal neurotransmission, and changes in the balance of these influences are involved in processes such as ‘active listening’. A detailed examination of neurotransmission in auditory nuclei at different stages in the pathway is included. The article briefly reviews neurotransmission in the descending pathways. References for the cell types and their connections in the ascending and descending pathways are also provided.

Keywords: neurotransmitters; auditory pathway; receptors; excitatory amino acids; synaptic strength

Article.  12809 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Cognitive Psychology

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