Munich Neuroscience Calendar


27.05.2022, 12:00 Graduate School of Neuroscience

Event Type: Talk
Speaker: Marcus Jeschke
Institute: Cognitive Hearing in Primates lab Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics group Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Goettingen

Title: Neurolunch: Marmosets to study physiology, cognition and clinical translation in auditory neuroscience

GSN Seminar room D00.003 and zoom
GroƟhaderner Str. 2
82152 Martinsried

Host: Benedikt Grothe

zoomlink: TBA

Common marmosets are small, arboreal, non-human primates with a unique combination of properties which make them a particularly interesting animal model in the auditory neurosciences. In this presentation, I will talk about separate projects which make use of these properties to investigate physiology, cognition as well as clinical translation.
First, I will talk about our work investigating the processing of spatial information in the auditory thalamus. Testing the full spatial field, we found that the centers of the spatial receptive fields of single units were distributed across both contralateral and ipsilateral hemifields. Our data further indicate that thalamic neurons support level tolerant spatial tuning at a population level as was found in earlier studies in the auditory cortex of marmosets. We studied potential cortical control with a small, repositionable cooling probe which can be flexibly used on the lissencephalic brain of the common marmoset. Cortical cooling led to a variety of changes: e.g. the tuning for spatial location could both sharpen or widen and azimuth tuning could move towards ipsilateral or contralateral locations. These data suggest a dynamic control of spatial processing in thalamus by cortex.
Next, I will introduce our recent work on automatic training of common marmosets on auditory tasks. Taking advantage of the rich vocal repertoire of marmosets, we developed a novel, automated home-cage, operant conditioning device and tested audio-visual-cued behaviors in socially housed animals. Our data show that marmosets can discriminate between a conspecific vocalization and a pure tone, can flexibly transfer learned discriminations to novel stimuli and detect the presence or absence of a conspecific vocalization. We are currently expanding our work to collect behavioral audiograms and explore categorical perception of vocalizations in a loquacious species.
I will finish by providing an overview of our efforts towards eventual clinical translation of optogenetic cochlea implants establishing behavioral and electrophysiological experiments with electrical cochlea implants as well as investigating gene transfer of optogenetic constructs into the primate cochlea.

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