Barnstedt et al. (2015) J Neurosci

In the midbrain, do neighbouring neurons like similar things? Decades of research have shown that neighouring neurons often respond to similar sound frequencies, which can produce maps of frequency in the brain. However, recent research has shown that this organization may break down at a very fine spatial scale in the auditory forebrain. This paper shows a complementary result for the auditory midbrain. Certain aspects of frequency organization (a boundary between different sub-divisions of the inferior colliculus) can be seen at a very fine spatial scale but are invisible at a coarser spatial resolution. This can be seen using a technique called calcium imaging, which makes individual neurons light up when they are active.

Barnstedt O, Keating P, Weissenberger Y, King AJ, Dahmen JC (2015) Functional microarchitecture of the mouse dorsal inferior colliculus revealed through in vivo two-photon calcium imaging. Journal of Neuroscience 35:10927-39.

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Keating et al. (2016) eLife

Can adult humans adapt to a hearing loss in one ear using multiple strategies? Sound localization is impaired by a hearing loss in one ear. But during development, ferrets adapt to this type of hearing loss using multiple adaptive strategies. This paper shows that adult humans also use multiple adaptive strategies for adapting to a hearing loss in one ear, provided they are given appropriate training on a sound localization task. These adaptive strategies appear to be independent of one another, with some individuals relying more on one adaptive strategy than the other. This suggested to us that these adaptive strategies might rely more on different sets of neurons. This is precisely what we found when we recorded from neurons in ferrets reared with a hearing loss in one ear.

Keating P, Rosenior-Patten O, Dahmen JC, Bell O, King AJ (2016) Behavioral training promotes multiple adaptive processes following acute hearing loss. Elife 5:e12264

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