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Hearing Research

Jianhui Zhang, Hong Sun, Richard Salvi, Dalian Ding
Paraquat (PQ), one of the most widely used herbicides, is extremely dangerous because it generates the highly toxic superoxide radical. When paraquat was applied to cochlear organotypic cultures, it not only damaged the outer hair cells (OHCs) and inner hair cells (IHCs), but also caused dislocation of the hair cell rows. We hypothesized that the dislocation arose from damage to the support cells (SCs) that anchors hair cells within the epithelium. To test this hypothesis, rat postnatal cochlear cultures were treated with PQ...
March 13, 2018: Hearing Research
Benjamin Dieudonné, Tom Francart
Many hearing-impaired listeners struggle to localize sounds due to poor availability of binaural cues. Listeners with a cochlear implant and a contralateral hearing aid - so-called bimodal listeners - are amongst the worst performers, as both interaural time and level differences are poorly transmitted. We present a new method to enhance head shadow in the low frequencies. Head shadow enhancement is achieved with a fixed beamformer with contralateral attenuation in each ear. The method results in interaural level differences which vary monotonically with angle...
March 12, 2018: Hearing Research
Dexter R F Irvine
Perceptual learning, improvement in discriminative ability as a consequence of training, is one of the forms of sensory system plasticity that has driven profound changes in our conceptualization of sensory cortical function. Psychophysical and neurophysiological studies of auditory perceptual learning have indicated that the characteristics of the learning, and by implication the nature of the underlying neural changes, are highly task specific. Some studies in animals have indicated that recruitment of neurons to the population responding to the training stimuli, and hence an increase in the so-called cortical "area of representation" of those stimuli, is the substrate of improved performance, but such changes have not been observed in other studies...
March 12, 2018: Hearing Research
Geoffrey A Manley, Andrea Wartini, Gabriele Schwabedissen, Elke Siegl
SOAE from the last major lizard family not yet systematically investigated, the teiids, were collected from the genera Callopistes, Tupinambis and Cnemidophorus. Although their papillae show characteristics of the family Teiidae, the papillae differ both in their size and in the arrangement of uni- and bi-directional hair-cell areas. Among these three genera, Callopistes showed few (2 or 3) SOAE peaks, whereas the other two genera showed more (up to 6 per ear). In the absence of knowledge of the tonotopic maps, however, it was not possible to clearly relate the spectral patterns to the differences in papillar anatomy, suggesting that the determinants of these patterns may be more subtle than anticipated...
March 12, 2018: Hearing Research
Alec N Salt, Stefan K Plontke
Local drug delivery to the ear has gained wide clinical acceptance, with the choice of drug and application protocol in humans largely empirically-derived. Here, we review the pharmacokinetics underlying local therapy of the ear using the drugs commonly used in clinical practice as examples. Based on molecular properties and perilymph measurements interpreted through computer simulations we now better understand the principles underlying entry and distribution of these and other drugs in the ear. From our analysis, we have determined that dexamethasone-phosphate, a pro-drug widely-used clinically, has molecular and pharmacokinetic properties that make it ill-suited for use as a local therapy for hearing disorders...
March 11, 2018: Hearing Research
Daniel H Lee, Justin M Aronoff
Past studies have found that contralateral masking functions are sharper than ipsilateral masking functions for cochlear implant (CI) users. This could suggest that contralateral masking effects are only sensitive to the peak of the masker stimulation for this population. To determine if that is the case, this study investigated whether using broader stimulation patterns affects the broadness of the contralateral masking function. Contralateral masking functions were measured for six bilateral CI users using both a broad and narrow masker...
March 7, 2018: Hearing Research
Wei Tang, Xi-Jian Wang, Jia-Qi Li, Chang Liu, Qi Dong, Yun Nan
Music and language are two intricately linked communication modalities in humans. A deficit in music pitch processing as manifested in the condition of congenital amusia has been related to difficulties in lexical tone processing for both tone and non-tonal languages. However, it is still unclear whether amusia also affects the perception of vowel phonemes in quiet and in noise. In this study, we examined vowel-plus-tone identification in quiet and noise conditions among Mandarin-speaking amusics with and without speech tone difficulties (tone agnosics and pure amusics, respectively), and IQ- and age-matched controls...
March 6, 2018: Hearing Research
R Draganova, A Schollbach, F Schleger, J Braendle, S Brucker, H Abele, K O Kagan, D Wallwiener, A Fritsche, H Eswaran, H Preissl
The human fetal auditory system is functional around the 25th week of gestational age when the thalamocortical connections are established. Fetal magnetoencephalography (fMEG) provides evidence for fetal auditory brain responses to pure tones and syllables. Fifty-five pregnant women between 31 and 40 weeks of gestation were included in the study. Fetal MEG was recorded during the presentation of an amplitude modulated tone (AM) with a carrier frequency of 500 Hz to the maternal abdomen modulated by low modulation rates (MRs) - 2/s and 4/s, middle MR - 8/s and high MRs - 27/s, 42/s, 78/s and 91/s...
March 6, 2018: Hearing Research
Hideki Takago, Tomoko Oshima-Takago
The ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) concertedly mediate neurotransmission to convey, process, and integrate acoustic information along the auditory pathway. In order to ensure these challenging tasks, the iGluRs are variously expressed in auditory neurons in an age- and site-dependent manner. The subunit compositions of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) are altered with development, underlying the acceleration in kinetics of excitatory postsynaptic responses...
February 28, 2018: Hearing Research
Kilian Gladiné, Joris J J Dirckx
For the validation of modelling results or the comparison of middle ear interventions, such as prostheses placement, average responses of middle ear vibrations are needed. One such response is the amplitude and phase of the vibration of the stapes footplate as a function of frequency. Average responses and their standard deviation are commonly obtained by calculating the mean of a number of measured responses at each frequency. A typical middle ear magnitude response curve shows a number of distinct peaks, and the location of these peaks varies between ears...
February 24, 2018: Hearing Research
Hiromasa Ninomiya, Nobutaka Ohgami, Reina Oshino, Masashi Kato, Kyoko Ohgami, Xiang Li, Dandan Shen, Machiko Iida, Ichiro Yajima, Charalampos E Angelidis, Hiroaki Adachi, Masahisa Katsuno, Gen Sobue, Masashi Kato
Previous studies showed that people in urban areas are possibly exposed to 60-110 dB of low frequency noise (LFN) defined as noise of ≤100 Hz in their daily life. Previous studies also showed increased health risks by exposure to high levels (130-140 dB) of LFN in animals. However, little is known about the health effects of exposure to an ordinary level of LFN. We biochemically and immunohistochemically assessed the effects of exposure to inaudible LFN for mice (12 h/day of 100 Hz LFN at 95 dB for 5 days), at a level to which people are possibly exposed in daily life, on a murine inner ear by targeting 9 stress-reactive molecules...
February 24, 2018: Hearing Research
Melissa J Polonenko, Blake C Papsin, Karen A Gordon
This longitudinal study aimed to identify auditory plasticity promoted by a cochlear implant in children with asymmetric hearing loss. Participants included 10 children who experienced (mean ± SD) 3.1 ± 3.6 years of asymmetric hearing (difference of 47.2 ± 47.6 dB) before receiving an implant at age 8.7 ± 5.1 years. Multi-channel electroencephalography was measured at initial implant use (5.8 ± 3.2 days) and after 10.2 ± 4.1 months in each child. Monaurally presented stimuli consisted of 36 ms trains of 9 acoustic clicks/biphasic electric pulses at a rate of 250 Hz, repeated at 1 Hz...
February 17, 2018: Hearing Research
Jesse M Resnick, Gabrielle E O'Brien, Jay T Rubinstein
Since cochlear implant function involves direct depolarization of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) by applied current, SGN physiological health must be an important factor in cochlear implant (CI) outcomes. This expected relationship has, however, been difficult to confirm in implant recipients. Suggestively, animal studies have demonstrated both acute and progressive SGN ultrastructural changes (notably axon demyelination), even in the absence of soma death, and corresponding altered physiology following sensorineural deafening...
February 14, 2018: Hearing Research
Wilhelmina H A M Mulders, Ian L Chin, Donald Robertson
Noise exposures that result in fully reversible changes in cochlear neural threshold can cause a reduced neural output at supra-threshold sound intensity. This so-called "hidden hearing loss" has been shown to be associated with selective degeneration of high threshold afferent nerve fiber-inner hair cell (IHC) synapses. However, the electrophysiological function of the IHCs themselves in hidden hearing loss has not been directly investigated. We have made round window (RW) measurements of cochlear action potentials (CAP) and summating potentials (SP) after two levels of a 10 kHz acoustic trauma...
February 14, 2018: Hearing Research
Choongheon Lee, Timothy A Jones
Specific pharmacological blockade of KCNQ (Kv7) channels with XE991 rapidly (within 20 min) and profoundly alters inner ear gravity receptor responses to head motion (Lee et al., 2017). We hypothesized that these effects were attributable to the suppression of K+ secretion following blockade of KCNQ1-KCNE1 channels in vestibular dark cells and marginal cells. To test this hypothesis, K+ secretion was independently inhibited by blocking the Na+ -K+ -2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC1, Slc12a2) rather than KCNQ1-KCNE1 channels...
February 13, 2018: Hearing Research
Lyall Glait, Weiwen Fan, Gina Stillitano, Sharon Sandridge, Nadia Pilati, Charles Large, Giuseppe Alvaro, James A Kaltenbach
The purpose of this study was to test whether a Kv3 potassium channel modulator, AUT00063, has therapeutic potential for reversing noise-induced increases in spontaneous neural activity, a state that is widely believed to underlie noise-induced tinnitus. Recordings were conducted in noise exposed and control hamsters from dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) fusiform cells before and following intraperitoneal administration of AUT00063 (30 mg/kg). Fusiform cell spontaneous activity was increased in sound-exposed animals, approximating levels that were nearly 50% above those of controls...
February 7, 2018: Hearing Research
Lauren V Parry, Michael R D Maslin, Roland Schaette, David R Moore, Kevin J Munro
Animal studies have demonstrated that unilateral hearing loss can induce changes in neural response amplitude of the mature central auditory system (CAS). However, there is limited physiological evidence of these neural gain changes in the auditory cortex of human adults. The present study investigated the impact of chronic, unilateral conductive hearing impairment on cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) recorded from 15 adults (21-65 years old) in response to a 1 kHz tone (80 ms duration) presented to the impaired ear via a bone conduction transducer...
February 2, 2018: Hearing Research
Christopher J Pastras, Ian S Curthoys, Ljiljana Sokolic, Daniel J Brown
In an attempt to view the effects of the efferent vestibular system (EVS) on peripheral dynamic vestibular function, we have monitored the Vestibular short-latency Evoked Potential (VsEP) evoked by pulses of bone conducted vibration during electrical stimulation of the EVS neurons near the floor of the fourth ventricle in the brainstem of anesthetized guinea pigs. Given the reported effects of EVS on primary afferent activity, we hypothesized that EVS stimulation would cause a slight reduction in the VsEP amplitude...
February 2, 2018: Hearing Research
Nobuo Suga
For echolocation, mustached bats emit velocity-sensitive orientation sounds (pulses) containing a constant-frequency component consisting of four harmonics (CF1-4). They show unique behavior called Doppler-shift compensation for Doppler-shifted echoes and hunting behavior for frequency and amplitude modulated echoes from fluttering insects. Their peripheral auditory system is highly specialized for fine frequency analysis of CF2 (∼61.0 kHz) and detecting echo CF2 from fluttering insects. In their central auditory system, lateral inhibition occurring at multiple levels sharpens V-shaped frequency-tuning curves at the periphery and creates sharp spindle-shaped tuning curves and amplitude tuning...
February 2, 2018: Hearing Research
Anusha Yellamsetty, Gavin M Bidelman
Parsing simultaneous speech requires listeners use pitch-guided segregation which can be affected by the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in the auditory scene. The interaction of these two cues may occur at multiple levels within the cortex. The aims of the current study were to assess the correspondence between oscillatory brain rhythms and determine how listeners exploit pitch and SNR cues to successfully segregate concurrent speech. We recorded electrical brain activity while participants heard double-vowel stimuli whose fundamental frequencies (F0s) differed by zero or four semitones (STs) presented in either clean or noise-degraded (+5 dB SNR) conditions...
February 2, 2018: Hearing Research
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