Week 7 of learning neuroscience

The topic of this week was the auditory system. For me the hardest part of the course is probably learning anatomical structures and this week we learned the anatomy of the auditory system: pinna, auditory canal, cochlea, ossicles and the tympanic membrane. Als the auditory pathways are hard to remember.

A lot of the topics covered were new to me prior to reading the material/ Ilpo’s lecture although the basic mechanisms were superficially familiar.

I think one of the most interesting things about the auditory system is that it is the most sensitive in silence and a sudden loud noise can damage it badly. But if the volume of the noise increases gradually, then the system can endure much more intense noise with no damage. This is similar to brain plasticity: if brain damage occurs slowly, the brain is able to adapt to the damage and the symptoms can be very mild or nonexistent.

It was also interesting to learn about how sound amplification works in the ear and the tonotopic organization.

This week was the first week the lecture was organized in hybrid mode. Although I attended remotely, it is nice that there is a chance to attend physically.