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We have access to state-of-the-art equipment that will enable us to visualize specific neuron types in animal models. This is a new approach that combines several recent advances in the field of 'optogenetics', a technique that uses light to control neurons. This approach will allow us to explore how hearing loss induced by loud noise exposure leads to abnormal neural activity in areas of the brain that control learning, memory and higher cognitive function.
Hearing and auditory perception, Neuroplasticity, Aging