About this Research Topic
Frontiers in Neuroscience is assembling a collection of papers on the state of the art in research on Brain Microcircuits in the Inferior Colliculus (IC). The papers will be published online in Frontiers in Neuroscience as a Research Topic and is envisioned as a diversity of papers on every aspect of IC function. The goal is to provide an encyclopedic view of the current state of knowledge about the structure and function of the IC as a brain circuit. To this end, we are inviting major contributors to our knowledge of the IC to contribute articles. The articles can contain new data or they can be reviews or concise summaries of an aspect of IC function. Reviews should be focused rather than a broad review of the IC. Conceptual articles that attempt to synthesize hypotheses about the role of the IC in hearing are encouraged. An example of a published Research Topic can be found here. The articles will be peer-reviewed and published articles will be submitted to PubMed Central. Below is the abstract for this Research Topic as it will appear on the Frontiers in Neuroscience website.
The inferior colliculus (IC) is a unique structure in the auditory system, located between the primary auditory nuclei of the brainstem and the thalamus. The existence of the complex neural circuits in the auditory brainstem and midbrain, lacking in other sensory systems, has motivated an outpouring of research on the circuitry and physiological properties of the IC. IC neurons receive ascending inputs from over 20 separate sources in the brainstem as well as a dense collection of descending connections from the cortex. It is richly connected to both the left and right ears through these circuits and a major theme in research on the IC has been its role in binaural interactions. A second theme is the role of descending circuits in modulating responses to sound in the IC. A third theme is understanding the sound processing that occurs at the level of the IC, essentially how the representation of sound in the IC differs from that in the two auditory nerves. The representation of sound in the IC is an intermediate step in the development of the cortical representation as well as in the development of many perceptual features of sounds. These characteristics have been documented for a number of computations, including sound localization, masking properties, robustness of the representation, and responses to temporal and spectral properties of sounds.
This Research Topic aims to discuss a wide range of aspects of the structure and function of the IC in a way that will facilitate future research. Contributions discussing the organization of internal and external neural circuits associated with the IC, on the properties of its neurons, synapses, and microcircuitry, and on the representation and processing of sound in the IC are encouraged. The articles should be focused on an aspect of IC function rather than a broad review of the whole structure. Conceptual articles that attempt to synthesize hypotheses about the role of the IC in aspects of hearing are encouraged.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.