On Tuesday, I mentioned that Dave is working on a paper, A neural model of the inferior colliculus with excitatory and inhibitory input from the cochlear nucleus and the superior paraolivary nucleus. He will be presenting his work in a conference, in Pittsburgh, in October. He emailed the abstract to his paper, but it was chocked full of so much jargon, that I asked for a layman’s explanation. Here it is:
For the laymen and women, what I’m working on is a computer based model of the parts of the brain that process sound. I can put in a sound wave and it will spit out the response of a neuron 4 or 5 steps of the chain. There are a lot of models like this already out there but most of them are made to predict the specific responses of particular inputs. What makes my model novel is that I combined the mechanisms of several older models into one in the hopes that it a better representation of how these cells actually work. Its important because a lot of recent studies have shown that hearing loss associated with old age (cough, cough) is not related to damage to the ears but problems further up the line and so being better able to understand how the circuitry works is important to finding ways to fix the problems.
Dave broadcast this explanation to the immediate family and received the following criticism from his brother Dan:
It’s nice but there’s no sense of drama, I think you should add a plot twist near the ends where in it’s revealed the Chochlear Nucleus was having a torrid affair with the Inferior Colliculus, and they’ve been discovered in the act by the trochlear nerve, who was planning on blackmailing them until it went missing in mysterious circumstances which seemed to point to corruption all the way up to the upper echelons of the corpora quadrigemina. The Plot thickens…
Dan wasn’t the only person that saw a sexual or something conitation to Dave’s abstract. I showed it to one of my co-workers and he had the same take.
hi nice post and great blog. thanks’s for the post
Hey, does Dan hire out? I could use his help with this material I’m trying to write up. Let’s see, if we substitute Long-Distance Trade and Agricultural Intensification for…hmm; maybe not.
I don’t even really understand the layman’s explanation but I am convinced that “problems further up the line” are very often *mistaken* for hearing loss in the elderly.