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Rise Time, ms

Figure 76.7 Graphs showing the relationship between median latency and sound stimulus rise time for young-adult (diamond) and old (square) single nerve cell groups containing: (A) all nerve cells analyzed; (B) nerve cells stimulated at 65 dB SPL; and (C) matched young-adult and old nerve cells stimulated at 65 dB SPL and equal sensation levels above each cell's threshold. In all cases, the nerve cells in the old animals show shorter latencies than the young adult cells. This is consistent with a loss of inhibition with age in the auditory midbrain and has implications for disruptions of complex sound coding with age. From Simon et al. (2004), with permission.

the most effective hearing measurement methods, first in animal rehabilitation experiments aimed at preventing or curing hearing loss and deafness with gene therapy approaches or stem cell transplantation. If in the not-so-far future this is achieved reliably in mammals, and eventually primates, then hearing assessment in human clinical trials will hopefully follow soon after that.

Recommended Resources

Frisina, R.D. (2001). Subcortical Neural Coding Mechanisms for Auditory Temporal Processing. Hear. Res. 158, 1-27.

Review of auditory brainstem temporal processing mechanisms and pathways, including descriptions of useful techniques and changes with age.

Gulick, W.L., Gescheider, G.A., and Frisina, R.D. (1989). Hearing: Physiological Acoustics, Neural Coding, and Psychophysics. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

Good introductory text on all aspects of hearing and the anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, including many custom illustrations.

Hof, P.R. and Mobbs, C.V. (2001). Functional Neurobiology of Aging. San Diego: Academic Press.

Excellent overview of many aspects of the aging senses and nervous system, including eight chapters on the aging auditory system.

Willott, J.F. (1991). Aging and the Auditory System: Anatomy, Physiology, and Psychophysics. San Diego: Singular Publishing Group.

The best summary of research done on the aging auditory system to 1991.

Winer, J.A. and Schreiner, C.E. (2005). The Inferior Colliculus. New York: Springer.

Most current compilation of research done on the auditory midbrain and some other brainstem regions of the central auditory system.

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