We investigate fundamental aspects of auditiory physiology using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from brain slices, in vivo electrophysiology, quantitive modeling of synaptic plasticity and biophysical membrane properties, and immunohistochemical techniques. Our model system is the avian auditory brainstem. All information about an auditory scene combines to a single sound pressure waveform impinging on the eardrum. These vibrations are encoded as spiking activity in auditory nerve, which in turn projects to the cochlear nuclei in the brain stem. Our driving question is: how does the brain interpret this activity as the complex auditory world around us? And how do we do this especially when there are multiple overlapping sound sources?
Our focus is understanding how intensity signals are encoded to determine sound location and sound identity. At the level of the cochlear nucleus, different types of information are extracted by using distinct synaptic and cellular specializations that decode the nerve inputs. How are timing and intensity cues are extracted at the auditory nerve to cochlear nucleus synapse? How might short-term synaptic plasticity contribute to encoding sound envelope or overall level? What role do the various intrinsic firing properties of different cell types have in encoding sound envelopes? How is the information about intensity passed along by ascending circuits?
--->link to College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences News highlight
- April 2013: Science article on bat entorhinal cortical neurons is out!
- Postdoctoral fellow opening available - more info
- March 2013: Congrats to Shelley on her new position!
- March 2013: We welcome new undergrad Melissa to the lab!
- Feb 2013: Jheeyae presents her work at ARO in Baltimore.
- Jan 2013: Lecture & visit JHU Center for Hearing & Balance
- July 2012: Lauren & Arslaan's work (Kreeger et al. 2012) is published in the Journal of Neurophysiology!