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Tritsch's article [Re: Innate responses to sound]
Brandon and list,
I notice at the end of Tritsch's article they mention the
spontaneous modulations generated by KÃlliker's (Kolliker's) organ may
well be linked to peripheral tinnitus.
Their argument is well based as they describe the processes of mediating
ATP release in a spontaneous manner during early development. Their link
to peripheral tinnitus is to do with injury ... if injury re-establishes
the process of spontaneous release of ATP then it is postulated this
generates the necessary conditions for peripheral tinnitus.
I would like to point out that all of the frequencies of release which
they list in their papers are roughly 1 Hz to 0.02 Hz ... well below
the frequencies which peripheral tinnitus is believed to produce.
In my opinion, the significance of KÃlliker's organ post hearing onset
is to do more with DC and very very low frequency inner ear homeostasis.
Any DC shift with hearing onset is not listed in Tritsch's article.
If ATP release is maintained post hearing onset then is it not possible
that it is part of the battery bank which maintains the cochlear
Another question regarding the frequency of spontaneous activity pre
hearing onset is; What generates the timing or 'clocks' spontaneous
activity ? It is good to isolate the chemical mechanisms, however are
the chemical mechanisms really the origins ?
On Thu, May 22, 2008 at 10:04:00AM -0500, Brandon Abbs wrote:
> Hello Ross,
> Extending Dr. Schnupp's comments even further:
> Experience-independent spontaneous activity in the auditory system can also
> shape its organization, including the organization of tonotopic maps.
> There was a nice study of how this activity arises in rats last November in
> Tritsch, N.X. et al. (2007). The origin of spontaneous activity in the
> developing auditory system. Nature, 450, 50-55.
> When hearing begins in rats this activity decreases and experience takes
> over in determining the organization. The authors refer to this
> experience-independent activity as 'endogenous' rather than innate given
> that the mechanisms for regulating this activity are still unknown and may
> therefore be found to depend upon some non-deterministic factors. If this
> type of (experience-independent) activity is not described as innate, it
> will be difficult to make an argument that anything after the onset of
> hearing or further upstream in processing is innate.
> Brandon Abbs
> Graduate Student
> University of Iowa
> Department of Psychology
> Iowa City, IA 52242
> Office: E310 SSH
> Lab Phone: (319) 335-2472
> On May 22, 2008, at 4:10 AM, Jan Schnupp wrote:
>> Hi Ross,
>> I would agree with Brian that you may find it very hard to find much,
>> particularly on humans, that you can root properly in hard science. There
>> are of course dozens and dozens of papers from numerous labs which have
>> looked at the consequences of manipulations or early auditory or
>> multisensory experience in various laboratory animals, (Merzenich,
>> Kilgard, Grothe, Knudsen, Withington, King, to name but a few - apologies
>> to the many of our colleagues who I should also have mentioned here...)
>> and they mostly find that, surprise surprise, early experience can
>> influence auditory development substantially, changing many things from
>> psychophysical performance to cortical map organization and right down to
>> the "neural cabling" in the brainstem and midbrain. My worry with your
>> proposed thesis would be that you may have a terribly hard time just to
>> pin down what you mean by "innate". All hearing is innate because if you
>> are born without ears you don't have any, but all hearing is also
>> environmental because how the innate potential will unfold critically
>> depends on countless environmental variables, many of which you cannot
>> easily control or observe.
>> When I started as a grad student, Andy King advised me to try to stay
>> clear of nature vs nurture type debates. It was the first of many good
>> pieces of advice I got from him. Everything is ultimately nature AND
>> nurture, and trying to tease these two apart often ends up as a slippery
>> kind of exercise which is not really that insightful.
>> I hope I don't sound too discouraging. I think asking why people, or other
>> animals, react to particular sounds the way they do could be very
>> worthwhile, but if you say a priori that anything that is not "essentially
>> and demonstrably innate" does not interest you then you might be painting
>> yourself into a corner.
>> Best wishes,
>> 2008/5/22 Ross Rochford <digiology@xxxxxxxxx>:
>> I am considering for my thesis an exploration of innate responses to
>> sounds, that is, unlearned and presumably having evolved to serve some
>> function. The idea of the evolutionary lag where we have evolved to adapt
>> to an environment that existed thousands of years ago interests me, I
>> wonder what the implications of this are for how we respond to sound and
>> how music affects our mood.
>> I am looking for papers (or books) on responses to sound that are likely
>> to be innate in humans. Also papers that discuss the evolutionary origins
>> of our responses to sound and music and how our past environment (and
>> tasks therein, e.g. hunting) have shaped them. I am hoping for the kinds
>> of explanations that have been proposed for arachnophobia, that a fear of
>> spiders had survival advantage as we may have evolved among poisonous
>> While researching, I found a suggestion that our response to nails on a
>> blackboard is because of the similarity (of its spectrum) to the warning
>> call of macaque monkeys. Although I don't believe this is an adequate
>> explanation (the warning calls don't produce the same response as nails on
>> a blackboard in humans), it is similar to what I am looking for.
>> Any suggestions on where to start are greatly appreciated.
>> Dr Jan Schnupp
>> University of Oxford
>> Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics
>> Sherrington Building - Parks Road
>> Oxford OX1 3PT - UK
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