Week 8: Minibrains, Auditory System & First Excursion!

Quizzes & Lectures

This week’s quiz was based on only one chapter which had some pre-acquired information which included; the basic functioning of a conducting structure, how the location of hair cells is related to the frequency and function of the round window, and the effects of damage to conducting structures and nerve and hair cells.

In addition, there was a lot of new and more specific information as well. We knew that the round window in the cochlea is important since it regulates the pressure inside the cochlea. However, we learned this week that it is substantially more important since without it the fluid would not be able to move in the cochlea and therefore, there would be no stimulation. Furthermore, we learned that in the mechanism of sound localisation, the time delay and intensity changes because of our heads altering the intensity sensed are the factors that enable us to know where the sound is coming from.

This week’s lecture began with an interesting talk about artificial mini-brains and the philosophical approach to the topic.This may be a discussion to have in the future when it is possible to add sensory and motor abilities to Artificial Intelligence.

The topic of this week’s lecture was about auditory systems. We leaned about the auditory tract which involves the auditory receptors, the brain stem neurons, the MGN and the auditory cortex.

First Excursion: Nexstim!

We had our excursion to Nexstim company this week. Nexstim produces Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) which is a device used to map cortical language and motor areas, for instance a pre-surgical procedure (navigated TMS).

Deep TMS is used to treat depression when all other methods and medications do not seem to work. In reality, deep TMS has various other applications since it is far stringer than regular or navigated TMS and can be used to excite or inhibit different tracts in the cortex.

The presenters at Nexstim showed us a live demo of navigated TMS. We are extremely interested and Pekko might apply for Nexstim in the future since he is very interested in TMS and Nexstim seems to have a great advantage in the Finnish market as well as some parts of Europe.

We think that if all the excursions are as interesting and well as this then we are very pleased with this course’s custom!

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