< Back to previous page


Structure and function of the medial superior olive.

The medial superior olive (MSO) is a brainstem auditory nucleus: it is the first binaural site in the auditory pathway and is by far the most prominent of the auditory brainstem nuclei in the human superior olivary complex. Several features make it extremely difficult to access and record from cells in the MSO. We have perfected methods that bypass these unfavorable features of the nucleus, which will allow us to unequivocally evaluate the anatomical and physiological features of MSO cells that are vital in their binaural mission. The method involves recording the responses of these cells to auditory stimulation not from their cell bodies but remotely from their axons at some distance from the nucleus. After determining the response features to auditory stimuli presented to one or both ears we can inject a mobile dye (Neurobiotin) into the individual axon which fills the entire cell body, dendritic tree and axon collateral field. This gives us the opportunity to evaluate the important anatomical features of these physiologically characterized cells at the light and electron microscopic level as well. It is our sincere belief that the experiments proposed here will provide critical information that will advance our understanding of hearing mechanisms in the normal brain and how to better facilitate hearing in the aged and damaged brain.
Date:1 Sep 2013  →  31 Aug 2018
Keywords:Binaural, Hearing, Axonal recording, Neuroanatomy, Physiology, Sound localization, Brainstem
Disciplines:Neurosciences, Biological and physiological psychology, Cognitive science and intelligent systems, Developmental psychology and ageing