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Behavioral Outcomes of Asymmetric Hearing Loss

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Behavioral Outcomes of Asymmetric Hearing Loss
Nofziger, Jill
The brain integrates stimuli from multiple modalities to improve detection and localization of environmental events. This integration produces the greatest enhancements when the unisensory inputs being integrated are weak, and congruent across space and time. This study investigates multisensory detection/localization behaviors in an animal (cat) model of acute asymmetric hearing loss (ASHL). ASHL is known to disrupt the spatial alignment of auditory cues in the superior colliculus, a structure associated with multisensory integration. Cats were trained to approach brief auditory and visual unimodal stimuli. They were then tested with a battery of visual and auditory stimuli presented alone or together in spatiotemporal congruence at either full or reduced intensities. As expected, enhancements were greatest with the combination of reduced intensity stimuli. ASHL was simulated using a fitted earmuff covering one ear while auditory stimuli were played at full intensity. This impaired auditory localization performance to levels similar to that in response to the reduced intensity auditory cue. However, when paired with reduced intensity spatiotemporally congruent visual stimuli, multisensory integration was impaired. These results emphasize that coincidence from a logical perspective is not equivalent to coincidence of neuronal inputs, and understanding the underlying circuitry, not simply the unimodal responses, is crucial for predicting the product of the multisensory transform.
Multisensory Integration
Superior Colliculus
Stein, Barry E (advisor)
Salinas, Emilio (committee member)
Maier, Joost X (committee member)
2023-07-25T17:48:31Z (accessioned)
2023-07-25T17:48:31Z (available)
2023 (issued)
Neuroscience – MS (discipline)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/102233 (uri)
en (iso)
Wake Forest University

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