Auditory and Vestibular Efferents

Despite decades of research, the functional and evolutionary significance of the auditory and vestibular inner ear efferents are poorly understood. The long held belief that the peripheral auditory and vestibular end organs are simple sensors with no information processing has been challenged in recent years. It is a remarkable feature that the auditory and vestibular systems possess a mechanism for targeted and specialized modulation of afferent sensory information via descending inputs from the brain to the cochlea and vestibular organs. Over the past few years, new discoveries have emerged regarding efferent synaptic mechanisms and their role in sensory afferent development and signaling as well as higher order processing of behaviors.

This call is for original research and reviews that advance our current understanding of the function of the inner ear efferents in health and in pathological conditions. The aim is to discuss efferent synaptic mechanisms, effects on sensory afferent development and signaling, effects on behavior and higher order processing, and plasticity with sensory experience and pathology in different animal models and using new research tools (including imaging, stimulation, and recording techniques). This call is initiated by the Association for Research in Otolaryngology minisymposium “Inner Ear Efferents: Form and Function.” Note that this call is open to all research on the topics of auditory and vestibular efferents, not just to minisymposium attendees. However, we especially encourage speakers and attendees of the minisymposium to submit.

All submissions will go through the normal peer review process. Note that all review manuscripts must be commissioned by the editor prior to submission.

Deadline: December 31, 2019