Inner Ear Biology

Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

Category archives for Inner Ear Biology

Basic Concepts: Hearing

Many of my SciBlings have been doing posts on “basic concepts” in their fields of expertise. As I am studying hair cell regeneration as a therapy for hearing impairment, I thought I might do a ‘basic concepts post’ on what hearing is, how humans hear, and why we lose it sometimes. The most reductionist answer…

Hey Wall Street Journal! I say boooooo to you and this worthless article on the “impending hearing health crisis.” The title of the article (“Resolve to Turn Your Ipod Down”) itself is rather silly, now that Ipods come with volume limits under the range of the levels that cause hearing loss. Plus, its not like…

Sound and Visual Synchronization

Check out this really interesting study over at Cognitive Daily, which explores the differences in acoustic and visual processing times. The authors of the study used a very elegant, simple protocol to demonstrate how accurate people are at reporting synchrony and “dis-synchrony.” One side note was that raw auditory processing times are faster than visual…

What Are “Tubes in the Ear”?

Mark Chu-Caroll related a story in the comments to this post, about how his son benefited greatly from having tubes put in his ears after recurring ear infections became a serious issue. For children who get frequent ear infections, tympanostomy tubes can be a very effective, and low-impact treatment. (An explanation of ear infections, and…

A little more on the topic of ear infections, from Forbes: A new study found that almost two-thirds of children given a prescription for antibiotics — just in case — didn’t need to have the prescription filled to get better. “Our study evaluated a ‘wait-and-see’ prescription for ear infections in children,” said the study’s lead…

Yeah, I have an ear infection (otitis media). So, why not take this opportunity to describe what an ear infection is, why it hurts, and what you can do about it. Otitis media literally means “middle ear inflammation,” but it really refers to the build-up of infected fluid in the spaces in the middle ear,…

Once when i was in a taxi, the driver was attempting to make conversation and asked what I did. I usually try to avoid the subject with some people, because when i say “I study the inner ear” a lot of people feel the need to unload their medical problems regarding earwax upon me. Only…

In addition to the below post on gene therapy, keep a watch out for a review paper on the topic (by yours truly) that was just accepted into Hearing Research. Deafness and hearing impairment are serious medical concerns in America, with nearly 30 million Americans affected to some degree. This is such a widespread problem…

Researchers at the University of Antwerp have identified three genes, involved in potassium ion channels in the inner ear, which are essential for normal hearing protection. Defects in these genes have been shown to significantly decrease the cochlea’s ability to protect itself from noise-related injuries. (More below the fold….)

The head of the Kresge Hearing Research Center here at UM (link to the left) is Dr. Jochen Schacht. His team recently discovered that taking the antioxidents Vitamin E and aspirin significantly reduced hearing damage after noise trauma (ie, a rock concert.) Info below the fold……….