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Gordon Research Conference — Auditory System

12th July 2020   -   17th July 2020
Bryant University, Smithfield, RI, United States


The healthy human auditory system performs complex and exquisite analysis, permitting localization and identification of sounds, processing speech and appreciation of music. Loss of these functions through inherited genetic factors, aging, noise, trauma, or disease results in major personal and societal costs. In addition, the interaction between hearing and other sense, including vision, are clearly important. Treatment options for auditory dysfunction are limited. The overall theme of the 2020 meeting leverages innovation in approaches and theory, focusing on an integrated understanding of preventing loss and recovering function of the auditory system. These topics are broadly construed to span research on basic and pathological mechanisms that pose limitation and destroy normal auditory function to translational efforts to treating disorders and novel therapeutic and biological interventions to recover function. Sessions will traverse the auditory system from its fundamental peripheral mechanisms to the central pathways, multi-sensory integration, and behavioral output. The program will include the etiology and pathology of normal auditory function, disruption of function through disease and trauma, and innovative approaches to preventing hearing loss and to recovering function after loss. Investigators will highlight different model systems and technologies, clinical relevance, and potential translational tools for repairing damaged auditory systems, including stem cell therapy, hair cell regeneration, gene therapy, and electrical hearing through cochlear implants. Sessions will be designed to have appeal to scientists with diverse backgrounds. We endeavor to highlight different model systems, from zebrafish to humans, and technologies from molecular and genetic to systems and behavior. Throughout the sessions we will include a broad mix of talks that focus on studies of central and peripheral auditory neuroscience.