Presentation by Dr. Rudolf Rübsamen
Of Mice and Men – From synaptic transmission to central hearing disorders
Abstract: In this seminar I will try to perform a balancing act between (i) presenting basic electrophysiological data from laboratory animals and (ii) the implementation of these insights into the development of tests for the evaluation of central hearing disorders in humans. Part one will investigate synaptic transmission in second and third order neurons in the auditory brainstem with focus on mechanisms that preserve and increase the precision of temporal signal processing. It will become apparent that the integration of excitatory and inhibitory afferents plays a significant role in shaping synaptic transmission and thus afferent auditory activity ascending to the midbrain. Part two deals with the problem of identifying and quantifying impaired central auditory processing in humans. I will present behavioral tests using earphone- and acoustic free field stimulation that allow a differentiation between impaired brainstem and diencephalic/telencephalic auditory processing.
Bio: The main focus of Dr. Rübsamen’s research program is on “Temporal Aspects of Segmentation and Integration of Sequential Auditory Information” and the mechanisms of neural processing underlying these processes. I investigate time-critical central nervous system processing including the neural processing of complex acoustic signals. The neural mechanisms underlying these processes and the networks involved are studied in animal models, in normal hearing human subjects and in patients with acquired brain lesions.