Journal of Comparative Neurology vol:295 issue:3 pages:438-48
Anatomical studies of the Creel albino cat have demonstrated a pronounced atrophy of cells in the medial superior olive, a structure thought to be important for the detection of interaural time differences (ITDs). We looked for physiological abnormalities in the binaural interaction of cells in three albino cats by recording from single cells in the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus to ITDs of tones and noise. We found that the sensitivity to ITDs of tones and noise was somewhat diminished in the albino cats as compared to normally pigmented cats, though this deficit was only evident when a population of cells was examined. The range of sensitivity of individual cells for both tones and noise was the same in albinos and pigmented animals. Our anatomical measurements showed a smaller reduction in cross-sectional area of cells in the medial superior olive than that reported earlier, and the cell bodies in the medial superior olive of the albinos were less elongated than in normal cats.