" ...In fish, evasion of a diving bird that breaks the water surface depends on integrating visual and auditory stimuli with very different characteristics. How do neurons process such differential sensory inputs at the dendritic level? For that we studied the Mauthner-cells (M-cells) in the goldfish startle circuit, which receive visual and auditory inputs via two separate dendrites, both accessible for in vivo recordings. We asked if electrophysiological membrane properties and dendrite morphology, studied in vivo, play a role in selective sensory processing in the M-cell. Our results show that anatomical and electrophysiological differences between the dendrites combine to produce stronger attenuation of visually evoked post synaptic potentials (PSPs) than to auditory evoked PSPs. Interestingly, our recordings showed also cross-modal dendritic interaction, as auditory evoked PSPs invade the ventral dendrite (VD) as well as the opposite, visual PSPs invade the lateral dendrite (LD). However, these interactions were asymmetrical with auditory PSPs being more prominent in the VD than visual PSPs in the LD. Modelling experiments imply that this asymmetry is caused by active conductances expressed in the proximal segments of the VD. ..."
Medan V, Mäki-Marttunen T, Sztarker J, Preuss T (2017) Differential processing in modality-specific Mauthner cell dendrites. J Physiol [PubMed]