16:00–16:50 Q&A with PhD’s and Postdoc’s / 17:00–18:00 Lecture Abstract: The dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) of the brainstem is the first site of multisensory convergence in the mammalian auditory pathway. Principal output neurons of the DCN, the fusiform cells, integrate auditory-nerve inputs from the cochlea with multiple multimodal pathways. Following noise exposure, fusiform cells in animals with behavioural evidence of tinnitus show best-frequency-specific increases in spontaneous firing and synchronization. Conversely, animals without evidence of tinnitus do not show these physiological signatures despite equivalent cochlear damage. These data suggest that hearing loss, whether visible or ‘hidden’, is insufficient by itself to produce a tinnitus phenotype. Changes in cochlear output after noise exposure require accompanying neuro-plastic changes in recipient neurons in the cochlear nucleus to result in physiological and behavioural signatures of tinnitus.
Aaron Wong, Maurits van den Berg, Gerard Borst
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