The cochlear nucleus contains the circuits through which information about sound is coupled to the brain. In the cochlear nucleus, fibers of the auditory nerve contact neurons that form multiple, parallel representations of the acoustic environment. These circuits vary from simple synapses that preserve the timing of auditory events to complex neuropils that are sensitive to features that identify sounds. This chapter discusses the organization of the cochlear nucleus, covering cell types, synaptic connections, membrane properties and integration of inputs, models of somatic and dendritic properties, and circuit functions.
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