BME Seminar: Robert C. Froemke, PhD, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
ABOUT THE SEMINAR
Love, Death, and Cochlear Implants
I will discuss neuroplasticity and behavioral adaptations in rodents, first in new mother mice learning to care for pups, and then in deafened rats learning to use cochlear implants to hear again. I will discuss our previous work and newer results on maternal responses to infant distress calls, and how oxytocin enables parents to recognize the meaning of these calls. We built a new system combining 24/7 continuous video monitoring with neural recordings from auditory cortex and oxytocin neurons of the hypothalamus in vivo. With this documentary approach, we identified behaviors of experienced and naïve adults learning to co-parent together which activate oxytocin neurons. Our data show how co-parenting helps with the challenges of mouse maternity to ensure infant survival. Finally, I will discuss our studies of the neural basis of cochlear implant use, and mechanisms of neuromodulation and plasticity required for deaf rats to respond to implant stimulation.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Robert C. Froemke, PhD, Skirball Foundation Professor of Genetics, Otolaryngology, Neuroscience & Physiology
Dr. Froemke is the Skirball Foundation Professor of Genetics in the Neuroscience Institute and Departments of Otolaryngology and Neuroscience/Physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. The Froemke lab studies how sounds acquire meaning by relating synaptic plasticity to changes in behavior, such as the adaptations in the maternal brain to recognize infant cries or how cochlear implant stimulation leads to auditory perception.