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University of Pittsburgh

 

 

Research Topics

Circuit, Synaptic and Intrinsic Mechanisms During Normal and Pathological Auditory Processing

Dr. Tzounopoulos and collaborators study circuit, synaptic and intrinsic neuronal mechanisms that are involved during normal and pathological auditory processing.

Neural Mechanisms Underlying Conductive Hearing Loss

Conductive hearing loss (CHL) impacts social integration, because people who are affected by it often become socially isolated. In contrast to complete deafness, the effects of partial hearing loss on the auditory brain are poorly understood. Because hearing impairment is much more prevalent in humans than complete deafness, there is an urgent need to investigate the cellular changes that occur in the central auditory pathway of the hearing impaired. Research in Dr. Rubio's laboratory focuses on elucidating the molecular, anatomical electrophysiolgical and behavioral changes in central auditory structures in response to CHL.

Plasticity and Development of Auditory Brain Circuits

Normal hearing depends on precisely organized and physiologically fine-tuned brain pathways. During development this organization emerges gradually and is guided by early neuronal activity. Dr. Kandler and collaborators are investigating the cellular and synaptic mechanism of developmental reorganization by which neuronal activity exerts its effects on the developing brain. To achieve this goal the laboratory employs a variety of modern and novel physiological, imaging, and anatomical techniques that are applied to normal and genetically modified mice.