Public Release: 

NIH awards $2.4 million for research into mechanisms of auditory information processing

Research aims to reveal new cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the early stages of hearing

Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience

Samuel Young, Jr., PhD at the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) has been awarded a $2.4 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to investigate how synaptic vesicle activity modulates the transfer of auditory information and ultimately how this impacts our ability to discern sounds.

Under this grant, Dr. Young's lab aims to reveal new cellular and molecular mechanisms that allow synapses to sustain synaptic transmission over a wide range of activity levels to allow for proper information processing in the early stages of auditory processing. As this process is necessary in all synapses to encode information over varying timescales, the data of Young's investigations will have a broad relevance to understanding how synaptic communication leads to information transfer in neural networks.

"Hearing is fundamental to our ability to communicate with one another. Uncovering the processes and the mechanisms that allow for proper hearing will have tremendous potential as therapies for hearing and communication disorders," explained Young. "In addition, our findings will have tremendous impact in understanding how synapses are regulated to meet the needs of the specific demands of the neuronal circuit they are embedded within."

Samuel M. Young, Jr., PhD joined the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience (MPFI) as a Max Planck Research Group Leader of Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Formation in 2010.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) is one of the Institutes that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH's mission is to uncover new knowledge that will lead to better health for everyone. Established in 1988, NIDCD conducts and supports biomedical and behavioral research and research training in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, taste, smell, voice, speech, and language.

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This research is being supported by the NIDCD of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under award number R01 DC014093. The content of this release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.

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