Date of Award

Spring 2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Audiology (AuD)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Lincoln C. Gray

Christopher G. Clinard

Mark Gabriele

Abstract

Spatial organization and topographic maps begin in the periphery and are preserved throughout the central auditory system. The Eph and ephrin family of signaling proteins is involved in the patterning and arrangement of auditory afferents which code information about frequency, intensity, and time. The present study utilizes the ABR as a physiological measure of the electrical potentials occurring in the brainstem following acoustic stimulation. We recorded this measure following click and tone pip stimulation in ephrin-B3 and EphA4 deficient mice at 2-3 months of age and compared them to wild type controls. Significant findings included elevated auditory thresholds, prolonged latency to waveform peaks, and diminished peak amplitudes among the mutant groups. The physiological differences between the wild type and mutant groups provide strong evidence of the Eph/ephrins in establishing a fully functional auditory system.

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