Interactions between hearing and balance
Multimodal inputs are integrated in the first station of the auditory pathway, the cochlear nucleus. Input systems include somatosensory trigeminal and dorsal column nuclei as well as the lateral vestibular nucleus. After sensory deafferentation, these inputs multiply and invade the auditory system likely causing hyperactivity and sensory dysfunction. The functions of these mulitmodal inputs are poorly understood, as well as why they may multiply after a sensory insult such as that resulting from noise damage. The resulting circuit reorganization likely plays an important role in generating tinnitus, or phantom sound perception as well as uncomfortable loudness tolerance or hyperacusis. Here we would like to understand how the various inputs are integrated to impact sensory function in somatosensory, auditory and vestibular circuits.
Presented at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 2016, San Diego, CA