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13:00 - 14:00 10 May 2013

External Seminar: A coding transformation within auditory cortical neurons


Main Seminar Room | UCL Ear Institute (link Map)
332 Grays Inn Road | London | WC1X 8EE | United Kingdom

Speaker information

Michael Wehr, University of Oregon

This talk will focus on the contributions of multisensory systems to auditory processing.In particular, I will show that ‘touch-sensitive’ neurons in the brain, that receive input from the face and head, send neural projections to the cochlear nucleus.These ‘somatosensory’ neurons can alter the cochlear nucleus response to sound.Most remarkably, hearing loss is accompanied by a strong enhancement in somatosensory influences on the cochlear nucleus, as if in compensation for the loss of input from the cochlea.This enhancement is one of the factors that likely leads to tinnitus.Our most recent work demonstrates that in animals with tinnitus (tested behaviorally), the major change in the cochlear nucleus was an increase in excitation from the somatosensory system (see press release: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/tinnitus-kresge-0201). Furthermore these alterations are long-lasting and mediated by stimulus timing dependent plasticity (Plos One, 2013).


Roland Schaette
28946 | r.schaette@ucl.ac.uk