Optogenetics for precise stimulation of auditory neurons

Supervisors: A/Prof Rachael Richardson, A/Prof James Fallon, A/Prof Andrew Wise

The aim of this project is to develop the next generation of cochlear implants that combine optical stimulation with electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve in order to improve the precision of the auditory signal necessary for a breakthrough in cochlear implant performance. The project will use optogenetic techniques to express a light sensitive ion channel in auditory neurons so that they can be activated with a low-powered blue light source.

The project will use electrophysiological recordings to examine whether optical stimulation can improve the spatial precision of neural activation necessary for improved auditory perception with cochlear implants.

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