Neuronal Mechanisms of Hearing

Lindsay Aitkin (Hrsg.)

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Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Biologie


In contrast to the level of interest which is paid to the orga- nization of meetings about the structure and function of the audi- tory periphery, the central auditory system has received little attention in the last several years. However, much recent data accu- mulated during this period has provided auditory physiologists with new ideas about the function of the central auditory system. The successful exploration of new anatomical tracing techniques (triti- ated aminoacids, horseradish peroxidase, 2-deoxyglucose) together with the collection of electrophysiological data obtained with intra- cellular and extracellular recordings from the receptors and neurones in the auditory pathway have considerably deepened our understanding of central auditory function. Particular interest was concentrated upon the development of the auditory system under normal conditions and in conditions ofaudi- tory deprivation. Although, from the methodological point of view, the conditions of reversible auditory deprivation are complicated, promising new data appeared in this field. Similarly the specific ability of the auditory system to encode communication signals and speech sounds has been examined in many laboratories allover the world. A very fruitful method. based upon the results of electrical stimulation of cochlear nerve fibres in experimental animals, is the application of neuroprostheses in deaf patients. At the present time, the method still does not meet all requirements and many improvements will be necessary. Undoubtedly the exploration of the results of recent physiological experiments may help in the further improvement of neuroprostheses.