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Author: admin | 09.12.2013 | Category: Tinnitus Hearing Loss

It has been a few years and overall my ear is better but from time to time it still gets a minor full feeling. The auditory space map in the optic tectum (OT) (also known as superior colliculus in mammals) relies on the tuning of neurons to auditory localization cues that correspond to specific sound source locations. The owls were prepared for repeated electrophysiological recordings in a single surgical procedure.
Identification of the OT was based on stereotaxic coordinates and expected physiological properties.
The auditory and visual maps in the OT are aligned across the majority of the owl's visual field; however, this correspondence dissipates at the extremities (Knudsen 1982). Responses were defined as the average number of spikes in a 100-ms time window after stimulus onset minus the average number of spikes during a 100 ms window immediately before stimulus onset.
To quantify the selectivity to ITD and ILD, each tuning curve was normalized by dividing the responses by its maximal response.
To statistically assess the differences between the experimental groups, we used ANOVA followed by Tukey's multiple comparison tests in cases where more than two distributions were compared or t-test when only two distributions were compared. An example of a single recording site in the OT of an age-matched control bird is shown in Fig. Figure 3A shows results from two penetrations through the OT, one from an age-matched control owl (left) and one from a noise-reared owl (right). A summary of all ITD tuning curves recorded from the same noise-reared owl during the first 2 mo of recordings is shown in Fig.
To quantify the broadness of ITD tuning, we calculated the ITD tuning index (see materials and methods). A few minutes ago I was on the phone, and because my arm was sore I switched over to my right ear. It’s the latest in a series of studies that show that sound from both human ears is processed differently within the brain. I don't know which ear I'm most likely to respond to, only that I much prefer the quality of telephonic voices in my left ear.
It seems to be triggered by loud noise such as a noisy environment, or by listening to headphones for too long. This study investigates the effects of early auditory experiences on the neural representation of binaural auditory localization cues. In barn owls, interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences (ILD) constitute the primary cues for sound source azimuth and elevation, respectively (Poganiatz et al. Thirteen barn owls (Tyto alba) were used in this study: six noise-reared, four age-matched controls, and three adult owls. For the surgery, the owls were removed from the noise box and anesthetized with either halothane or isoflurane (2%) in a mixture of nitrous oxide and oxygen (4:5).
The OT was recognized by characteristic bursting activity and spatially restricted VRFs (Knudsen 1982).
Therefore, our survey was confined to the rostral and central regions of the OT, representing the frontal area of space, from ?40 to +40° in azimuth, and from ?30 to +30° in elevation. Optimal values of ITD and ILD were calculated as the midpoint of the range of the tuning curve over which the responses were >50% of the maximal response.
The tuning index ranges between 1 if the response is uniform and 0 if the unit responds only to the optimal value.
Six of the owls were raised in continuous broadband acoustic noise conditions (see materials and methods) from before the opening of their eyes and hearing onset (Koppl and Nickel 2007) until the age of 2 mo. 3A is that the prolonged responses in the age-matched control owl (left) are absent in the examples from the noise-reared owl (right).
I haven't done this for years, but this time I got curious and started switching back and forth, trying to isolate just what it was that was different.
Obviously the telephone speaker is the same all the time, and sounds are either distorted or they're not. Researchers have noted that humans tend to have a preference for listening to verbal input with their right ears and that given stimulus in both ears, they’ll privilege the syllables that went into the right ear. One way or another, though, apparently there's some kind of cognitively linked difference between your left and right ears. Young barn owls were raised in continuous omnidirectional broadband noise from before hearing onset to the age of ?65 days. The box was positioned in a dedicated room in the laboratory with an outside window allowing ambient light to enter the room and the box.
A small stainless steel plate with a protruding bolt was cemented to the skull to allow attachment to a stereotaxic device. The head was bolted to the stereotaxic apparatus and aligned using retinal landmarks (Bravo and Pettigrew 1981), so that the visual axis was contained in the horizontal plane (as described in Knudsen 1982).
The amplitude and phase spectra of the earphones were equalized within ±2 dB and ±2 ?s between 1 and 12 kHz by computer adjustment of the stimulus waveform. Figure 1 shows the distribution of the VRFs from all recording sites in the adult, age-matched control and noise-reared owls. Distribution of visual receptive field (VRF) positions, showing the centers of the VRFs of units from adult, age-matched control and noise-reared owls (left, center, and right, respectively). If this range exceeded the range of the tuning curve, the optimal value was defined as the value eliciting maximal response. A bootstrap test was used to compare the differences of the center of gravity between the two sides of the brain (see Fig.
Four of the owls were raised in the same box and conditions but with the acoustical noise omitted (age-matched control birds). This site demonstrates the typical ITD response curve of tectal units characterized by one prominent peak accompanied by additional side peaks (Pena and Konishi 2000). Interaural time differences (ITD) and interaural level differences (ILD) representations in a control bird. Importantly, in this example, the VRFs of the recording sites from the noise-reared owl are matched to those from the control owl (Fig.
The ITD tuning curves (rows in the plot) are organized from the site with the leftmost visual receptive field (bottom row) to the site with the rightmost receptive field (top row).


Brain scientists hypothesize that the right ear auditory stream receives precedence in the left hemisphere of the brain, where the bulk of linguistic processing is carried out. Data from these birds were compared with data from age-matched control owls and from normal adult owls (>200 days). These cues are processed and combined in the midbrain auditory pathway to produce neurons that are tuned to specific locations in space (Pena and Konishi 2001). Adult owls (>200 day) were taken from our owl colony, where they were housed in large aviaries equipped with nesting boxes and perching spots. The air in the box was replaced continuously using a quiet ventilator positioned outside the box. A craniotomy was performed at a second location above the OT (determined by stereotaxic coordinates), and a threaded recording chamber was cemented to the skull. Sound levels were controlled by two independent attenuators (PA5; Tucker-Davis Technologies) and were reported as average binaural intensity (ABI) relative to a fixed sound pressure level. Recording sessions were performed weekly during the first month of recording and less frequently in later stages. Auditory threshold was defined as the lowest ABI value eliciting 20% of the maximal response in the rate-level function.
Electrophysiological surveys were made in all juvenile birds starting at the age of ?65 days, when the owls typically have achieved adult appearance, and continued over a period of ?4 wk.
A: raster plots showing responses to ITD of 5 consecutive recording sites along a single penetration through the OT of a control owl (left) and a noise-reared owl (right). 6 and 9) and may reflect the action of delayed lateral inhibition, which was identified in the auditory space map of the barn owl (Spitzer et al.
For comparison, a similar plot showing all the tuning curves recorded from one age-matched control owl is shown in Fig. ITD tuning curves of all recording sites from a noise-reared owl (A) and an age-matched control owl (B) are shown.
In noise-reared owls, the tuning of tectal neurons for interaural level differences and interaural time differences was broader than in control owls. In the optic tectum (OT), space-specific neurons are organized systematically to create an auditory map of space (Olsen et al. Noise-reared owls were placed in the noise box (see below) at age <14 day, before hearing onset (Koppl and Nickel 2007). All incisions were infused with lidocaine hidrochloride (2%) and treated with chloramphenicol ointment (5%). Unit tuning was measured by presenting broadband noise bursts (3–12 kHz) varying in ITD or ILD with 10–15 repetitions in a randomly interleaved order. The bootstrap test was chosen because the difference between the two sides of the brain is a complex estimator whose distribution cannot be measured directly. Light gray bars indicate noise-reared owls, dark gray bars control owls and black bars adult owls.
Moreover, in neurons from noise-reared owls, the interaural level differences tuning was biased towards sounds louder in the contralateral ear. 1989) that merges with a visual map (Knudsen 1982).A fundamental concept in brain development and plasticity is that of sensitive periods, which present a time window of opportunity to shape the brain (Knudsen 2004). White noise was created and amplified either by a custom-made device containing six independent white-noise generators and amplifiers or, in the last experiment (owl #271), by a commercial multiprocessor and power amplifier (RX8 and SA8; Tucker Davis Technologies, Alachua, FL). An MPC Plus-8 System (Alpha Omega, Nazareth, Israel) was used to amplify and filter the signal (350–4,000 Hz). All auditory stimuli were 50 ms in duration, delivered at a rate of 1 Hz and at an ABI ?15–20 dB above threshold (the threshold was defined online as the minimal ABI eliciting responses at the approximated optimal ITD and ILD). Thus, if noise rearing has no effect on ITD representation, it is expected that the auditory responses shown at right (noise-reared owl) would be comparable to those shown at left (age-matched control owl).
The normal ITD representation can be seen in the control owl where the tuning curves are mostly narrow and the peak ITD progresses from negative ITDs (left ear-leading sounds) to positive ITDs (right ear-leading sounds). A similar bias appeared, but to a much lesser extent, in age-matched control owls and was absent in adult owls.
An online spike sorter (MSD; Alpha-Omega, Nazareth, Israel) was used to isolate a small cluster of neurons by manually setting a threshold and selecting the largest unit waveforms in the recorded site.
ITD tuning was tested with the ILD set to the optimal value (see below) in 20-?s increments over a range of 400 ?s (?200 ?s to +200 ?s; negative values designate left ear-leading ITDs and positive values designate right ear-leading ITDs). C: relationship between the optimal ITD and the horizontal VRF location of all recording sites from one control owl. However, when the spatial tuning of the neurons in the map is very broad, as is the case in the examples in Fig. In the noise-reared owls, the acuity of the tuning curves was markedly degraded compared with the control, and in many sites no tuning was observed at all. Tuning curves are organized along the ordinate according to the horizontal VRF location from the leftmost location (bottom row) to the rightmost location (top row).
Thus ITD tunings in noise-reared owls tended to be broader than those in the control and adult birds. To follow the recovery process from noise exposure, we continued to survey the neural representations in the OT for an extended period of up to several months after removal of the noise.
Age-matched control owls were raised under the same conditions as the noise-reared owls, excluding the noise. Sound level was raised gradually during the first day of noise exposure from 75 dB SPL (root mean square value, measured at the center of the box) to a final sound level that varied between 86–92 dB SPL between the different experiments (see Table 1).
At the end of each recording session, the chamber was treated with chloramphenicol ointment (5%) and closed. D: relationship between the optimal ILD and the vertical VRF location of all recording sites from the same owl as in C.
The main response range in all five sites was centered on the same ITD value, which in this penetration was ?0 ?s (see the average tuning curve of this penetration in Fig.
3A, we expect larger numbers of neurons to respond to each stimulus, resulting in stronger lateral inhibition. Moreover, the progression of the optimal ITD value from left to right ear leading was clearly distorted.


The extent of this tendency varied among the noise-reared owls, from very broad ITD tuning at most recording sites (owl #274) to mostly narrow ITD tunings (owl #271), albeit still broader than the average of the control owls. We report that all the noise-rearing effects tended to recover gradually following exposure to a normal acoustic environment.
It was shown that chronic manipulations of normal sensory cues with devices such as earplugs or prisms strongly influence the topography of the owl's auditory space map during a sensitive period at an age of ?60–200 days (Brainard and Knudsen 1998; Gold and Knudsen 1999). The sound level inside the box was monitored continuously (sound pressure level measurement package ANL 929A; MED Associates, St. Rate-level functions were measured with both ITD and ILD values set to the optimal values and the ABI varying at 5-dB intervals. Noise-reared owls had, on average, slightly elevated auditory thresholds compared with age-matched controls (average difference of ?3 dB). B: average normalized tuning curves of the five sites from control (left) and noise-reared (right) owls. To verify that the conclusions of this study are not dominated by the data from owl #274, we have repeated the analysis omitting the results from this bird. The results suggest that deprivation from experiencing normal acoustic localization cues disrupts the maturation of the auditory space map in the OT. However, since the auditory map appears normal at the age of about 60 days (Feldman and Knudsen 1997), this plasticity serves mainly to adjust an already existing map but not to develop the initial map.In owls, hearing is practically absent before the age of 2 wk (Koppl and Nickel 2007).
Visual stimuli consisted of bars and spots of positive and negative contrast, presented by moving a handheld projector over a calibrated screen located 1.5 m in front of the owl.
1D) suggest a systematic linear relationship between both binaural cues and the position of the VRF. The approximate consistency of the optimal ITD value along the dorsoventral penetration is expected from the normal topography of the ITD map (Olsen et al.
Furthermore, the connections from the nucleus magnocellularis to the nucleus laminaris (the major input source to the ITD processing pathway) matures at about posthatch day 30 (Cheng and Carr 2007; Carr and Boudreau 1996), and the maturation of the acoustical properties of the head is achieved at ?2 mo (Haresign and Moiseff 1998). These continuous measurements were confirmed with a calibrated microphone (7013; ACO Pacific, Belmont, CA) before each experiment.
The visual receptive field (VRF) was determined online by registering the position on the screen in which a stimulus elicited the maximal multiunit discharge.
Black circles represent positions from the penetration in the control owl and gray circles from the noise-reared owl. Thus extensive developmental processes must take place during the first 2 mo of life to form a functionally mature map. In most cases, two owls were raised together in separate cages inside the box (except for one noise-reared and two control owls that were raised alone in the box, see Table 1). The position was represented by its azimuth and elevation relative to the midsagittal plane and the visual horizontal plane, respectively. The ITD regression line crossed the zero azimuth axes at an ITD close to zero and the ILD regression line crossed the zero elevation axes at an ILD of about +4 dB (right ear louder). The average ITD curve of all five sites in this penetration demonstrated a typical normal ITD tuning (see also Fig. Yet, it remains unknown whether auditory experience is required for the formation of the auditory space map.The current study was designed to address the influence of early acoustic experience on the representations of ITD and ILD in the midbrain auditory space map. These relationships are in good agreement with corresponding data obtained from normal adult barn owls (Olsen et al.
To this end, we raised young barn owls in continuous broadband noise until they reached the age of 2 mo. Owls were used for electrophysiological experiments only if no changes in the average level (>2 dB) or spectral structure of the acoustic noise were observed. 1989) as well as data from normal juvenile barn owls (60–80 days; Brainard and Knudsen 1998) and reflect the binaural cue values recorded in the ear canals of barn owls (Olsen et al. In contrast, the units from the noise-reared owl demonstrated highly abnormal ITD tuning: The most dorsal site responded weakly whereas the deeper sites responded consistently to all sounds with no apparent ITD selectivity.
Owls were fed manually inside the box twice a day at initial stages and once a day at the later stages. Such sites, which responded to sounds without apparent ITD selectivity, were rarely encountered in the age-matched control birds and never consistently in subsequent recording sites along a penetration. We first report that both ITD and ILD tuning were significantly broader in noise-reared owls compared with age-matched controls.
In addition, the cage bedding was replaced and the ventilation filter was cleaned twice a week. Furthermore, ILD tuning in noise-reared owls was biased towards sounds louder in the contralateral ear. Moreover, in the age-matched control birds, as in normal adults (Knudsen 1982; Olsen et al. Finally, these abnormal effects tended to recover gradually following exposure to a normal acoustic environment. The owls behaved and developed normally inside the box without any signs of stress or discomfort from the noise.
1989), the optimal ITD and azimuth of the VRF progressed systematically along the rostrocaudal axis of the OT, and the optimal ILD and elevation of the VRF progressed systematically along the dorsoventral axis of the OT (see examples in Figs. Our findings demonstrate that the maturation of the normal auditory space map depends on the acoustic experience early in life. We conclude that the control birds, which were raised and hand-fed inside the box, expressed seemingly normal and adult-like ITD and ILD maps in the OT. My hearing tests were normal and the ENT doesn't know what it is, guessing maybe nerve damage. I am going to try going into an elevator and some of these things to gently try to push things along and see if this helps-thank you for the tip.



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