Mammalian Protein Helps Calibrate Hearing
Researchers have established how a molecule in the inner ear of mammals helps fine-tune auditory perception. Their findings help explain how the brain communicates with the inner ear, reducing its response to sound in loud or distracting environments. Damage by loud noise or drugs underlies the most widespread form of sensorineural hearing loss as well as tinnitus, the debilitating perception of sound in the absence of an external source.
The findings were reported December 18, 2007, in the print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), by a research team that included Howard Hughes Medical Institute international research scholar Bel