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Physics Colloquium Series: Prof. Daniel Llano
(Physics Lecture Series) University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology
“Neurophysiology of the Mouse Auditory System”
We effortlessly navigate a world filled with complex sounds. Even under challenging listening situations, the auditory system routinely extracts the meaning of signals corrupted by noise. Our laboratory studies the mechanisms by which complex sounds, such as speech, are processed by the auditory system. We hypothesize that the auditory system generates internal models of the sensory world, and uses these models to extract meaning from complex sensory stimuli. One potential neuronal substrate for this generative model is the massive system of descending projections from the auditory cortex to virtually every level of the subcortical auditory system. These projections are critical for shaping the response properties of neurons in the auditory periphery, but very little is known about their functional organization.