Summmer Intensive Classes 2020 1 - Dr.Benjamin

Category: Specialized Subjects, Credit : 1,   

Intensive summer lecture, time: 2nd,3rd, 4th & 5th period, September 23, 24, 25 & 28 
This course MUST be taken in conjunction with I0433/I433. If you are taking this course, please also register for I0433/I433. 
Instructor: Dr. Ben Warren, University of Leicester, Leicestershire, UK 
Subtitle: Hearing and Concussion

Course Description

Our ability to enjoy music, converse with friends and interact with our environment depend on the function of our fascinating ears. The ears of humans and wider mammals is, however, based on a singularly-evolved ear design – the cochlea. Insects provide a wealth of starkly different ear designs, which have evolved on many different body parts. The majority of this four-day  intense  course  will  understand  auditory  transduction  by  using  a  wide  variety  of  ear  types,  across  animal  phyla.  This  
comparative  approach  to  understanding  hearing  is  particularly  insightful  and  fascinating  and brings  a  broad  but  deep  understanding to hearing. 


Upon completion of the course, students are expected to: 
1. Understand basic biophysical principles of sound waves and their reception in ears and how sound waves are converted 
into movements of sound receivers and then transduced into electrical signals. 
2. To understand the biomechanical strategies that ears employ to increase their sensitivity to quiet sound, tune their ears to 
frequencies of interest and detect the amplitude of sound. 
3. Understand the ‘arms race’ between insects and bats and the different strategies employed between them. 
4. Understand the main types and causes of hearing loss and state-of-the-art research in hearing loss.   
5. Give a historical account of concussion and up-to-date research on its fundamental causes. 
6. Understand the scientific process of discovery and to critically interpret scientific findings. 
7. Presentation and debate skills. 

Course Schedule

We will focus on the biomechanics of sound receptors and then delve deep into ears to focus our analyses on the auditory receptors that convert sound-induced movements into electrical potentials (Day 1).   

We  will  look  at  the  perplexing self-induced movements  of auditory receptors  and  state-of-the-art  in  the  search  for  crucial  proteins necessary for hearing (Day 2).   

The  evolutionary  battle  between  insects  and  bats  that  predate  upon  them,  offer  intriguing  examples  of  ear  evolution  and  hearing strategies (Day 3, Morning). We will then understand something that will affect us all – hearing loss, and the different strategies used to unravel its cryptic cause (Day 3, Afternoon).  

The final day will center our attention on concussion, starting with a historical perspective but then synthesizing recent work that understands what goes wrong with our neurons when they experience a mechanical insult. This intensive course will use a combination of hands-on group activities, lectures, journal clubs, debate clubs, short presentations and poster construction to provide a deep, holistic and engaging understanding of hearing and concussion.   

*Please note that this course MUST be taken in conjunction with I0433/I433.   

Course Topics 

1. Physical principles of sound waves 
2. Biophysical principles of sound receivers 
3. Insect hearing 
4. Cricket auditory behaviour and neural circuits 
5. The vertebrate ear 
6. Auditory transduction in primary auditory receptors 
7. Biophysical models to explain active auditory mechanics 
8. Bat vs insects acoustic detection 
9. Causes and pathologies of hearing loss 
10. Historical perspective of concussion. 
11. Pathways and pathologies of concussion 
12. Model systems for understanding hearing 

Methods of Instruction: 
This course with I0433/I433 will consist of 13 lectures, 7 group activities, 6 journal clubs, 2 debate clubs. This combination 
of learning approaches will allow students to test and refine their knowledge.  

out of class activity requirement

One mid-course assignment 


1. Textbook: An  introduction  to  the  physiology  of  hearing:  Forth  edition,  James  O.  Pickles  ISBN:  9004243771.  Essential  reading, chapters: 1,2,3 and 5 
2. Journal (essential reading before the start of the course, or before each day):   
Day 1   An auditory feature detection circuit for sound pattern recognition, Schöneich et al., 2015, Behavioral Neuroscience 
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500325 
*The below journal papers will be run as paper focus groups and you will not be expected to read them beforehand.* 

Day 2   TRPA1 is a candidate for the mechanosensitive transduction channel of vertebrate hair cells Corey et al., 2004, Nature 
DOI: 10.1038/nature03066 
Prestin is the motor protein of cochlear outer hair cells, Zheng et al., 2000, Nature DOI: 10.1038/35012009 
An  electrical  resonance  in  hair  cells  of  the amphibian papilla  of  the  frog  Rana  temporaria,  Pitchford  and Ashmore,  1987,  
Hearing Research DOI:


Day  3 Physiological basis of  noise-induced  hearing  loss  in  an  tympanal  ear, Warren  et  al., 2019,  Journal of Neuroscience 

Day 4   A Drosophila model of closed head traumatic brain injury, Katzenburger et al., 2013, PNAS DOI: 

Grading plan/Evaluation: 
1. Class discussions/presentation and group activities: 30% 
2. Writing assignments and case reports:30% 
3. Final exam 40%

Office hour

To be announced.
For questions, email to Dr. Kanae Ando . 

Required background knowledge

Please note that this course MUST be taken in conjunction with I0433/I433. I0380/I380 is the first half (day 1 and 2) and 
I0433/I433 is the second half (day 3 and 4).