Effects of Neonatal Conductive Hearing Loss on Brain Stem Auditory Nuclei

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Abstract

Both postnatal auditory deprivation and experimentally produced conductive hearing losses in mice result in incomplete maturation of most brain stem auditory neurons. The affected groups are: octopus cell, globular cell, small spherical cell, and large spherical cell groups in ventral cochlear nuclei; and the lateral superior olive and medial nucleus of the trapezoid body of the superior olivary complex. When 45 days of auditory deprivation are followed by 45 days of normal acoustic stimulation, there is incomplete maturation of neurons in: multipolar cell, globular cell, small spherical cell, and large spherical cell groups in ventral cochlear nuclei; lateral superior olive and medial nucleus of trapezoid body in superior olivary complex; and central nucleus of inferior colliculus. A critical period exists when adequate sound stimulation is needed for full development of these neurons.

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