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Chronic Unilateral Hearing Loss Disrupts Neural Tuning to Sound-Source Azimuth in the Rat Primary Auditory Cortex.

08:00 EDT 10th May 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Chronic Unilateral Hearing Loss Disrupts Neural Tuning to Sound-Source Azimuth in the Rat Primary Auditory Cortex."

Accurate sound localization requires normal binaural input and precise auditory neuronal representation of sound spatial locations. Previous studies showed that unilateral hearing loss profoundly impaired the sound localization abilities. However, the underlying neural mechanism is not fully understood. Here, we investigated how chronic unilateral conductive hearing loss (UCHL) affected the neural tuning to sound source azimuth in the primary auditory cortex (AI). The UCHL was manipulated by the removal of tympanic membrane and malleus in the right ear of young (P14) rats and adult (P57) rats. We recorded the azimuth tuning of neurons in the left AI contralateral to the operated ear in the two groups of rats that experienced 2 months of UCHL, and in the left AI of age-matched control rats. We found that AI neurons in control rats showed predominant preference to sound from contralateral azimuths. However, UCHL weakened the cortical neuronal representation of contralateral azimuths on the operated ear side and strengthened the cortical neuronal representation of ipsilateral azimuths on the intact ear side. This effect was stronger in rats with UCHL at young age than in rats with UCHL in adulthood. Moreover, UCHL degraded the azimuth selectivity and azimuth sensitivity of AI neurons, and this effect was stronger in rats with UCHL in adulthood than in rats with UCHL at young age. These findings highlight a remarkable age-related experience-dependent plasticity of neural tuning to sound source azimuth in AI, and imply a neural mechanism for the impacts of chronic UCHL on sound localization abilities.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Frontiers in neuroscience
ISSN: 1662-4548
Pages: 477

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Hearing loss due to exposure to explosive loud noise or chronic exposure to sound level greater than 85 dB. The hearing loss is often in the frequency range 4000-6000 hertz.

Hearing loss due to disease of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS (in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM) which originate in the COCHLEAR NUCLEI of the PONS and then ascend bilaterally to the MIDBRAIN, the THALAMUS, and then the AUDITORY CORTEX in the TEMPORAL LOBE. Bilateral lesions of the auditory pathways are usually required to cause central hearing loss. Cortical deafness refers to loss of hearing due to bilateral auditory cortex lesions. Unilateral BRAIN STEM lesions involving the cochlear nuclei may result in unilateral hearing loss.

Partial or complete hearing loss in one ear.

Hearing loss due to interference with the mechanical reception or amplification of sound to the COCHLEA. The interference is in the outer or middle ear involving the EAR CANAL; TYMPANIC MEMBRANE; or EAR OSSICLES.

Hearing loss due to damage or impairment of both the conductive elements (HEARING LOSS, CONDUCTIVE) and the sensorineural elements (HEARING LOSS, SENSORINEURAL) of the ear.

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Hearing
Hearing, auditory perception, or audition is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations, changes in the pressure of the surrounding medium through time, through an organ such as the ear. Sound may be heard through solid, liquid, or gaseous mat...


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