Developmental aspects of the auditory system as probed in various
animal models and in human studies.
Dr. Bob Harrison
Hospital for Sick Children
I have conducted a range of basic animal
studies and human clinical research that generally reveal "age-related
More specifically, during the development of the auditory
system, early experimental manipulations or clinical interventions
are generally more effective than those made later. I will
review many these studies, and consider some in detail. I
will discuss basic neuro-physiological animal experiments
which probe the establishment and the plasticity of the tonotopic
organization of the auditory system. I will also present
clinical studies which show age-related plasticity in relation
to the timing of cochlear implantation in congenitally deaf
children; these studies largely involve behavioural outcome
two approaches to explore auditory system development, i.e.
basic animal studies and human experiments, each have advantages
and disadvantages. I hope to stir up some discussion (gentle
argument?) between the biologists and the psychologists as
to which approach is most fruitful!