Hearing More Than Sound
Have you ever heard a familiar ring tone and wondered whether your cell phone is ringing or if that is from someone else in the room? Imagine now that you also feel vibrations in your pocket, indicating that you are indeed getting a call. This is a demonstration of multisensory integration: different sensory modalities (hearing, touch, vision, etc.) work together to help you navigate the world. Integrating information from a different sensory modality can often enhance the perception of a stimulus. Our lab aims to study how the auditory system integrates sound and information from other sensory modality.
The inferior colliculus is a key subcortical integration center in the auditory system. It combines ascending auditory information from many lower, specialized nuclei before passing it on to the auditory cortex via the thalamus. Its neurons can encode complex auditory objects and features such as vocalizations, duration and location. Recent anatomical evidence has shown that shell region of the inferior colliculus receives somatosensory input in a highly organized fashion, suggesting their prominent role in multisensory integration. I have recently exploited its superficial location in the mouse brain for in vivo imaging to reveal a subgroup of neurons that may serve as somatosensory-auditory integrators. Our group employs state-of-the-art viral tracing techniques, in vivo and in vitro physiology and behavioral paradigms to understand the functional significance of this circuit.
We are open for possible bio-technician and master internships. For inquiry, please contact Dr. Aaron Wong at email@example.com.