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Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit disorder among human beings.  Millions of people world-wide, including thirty-six million in the US alone, struggle to hear. Solving such a complex problem takes top scientists in many fields.

The Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center is a multidisciplinary center incorporating faculty in the School of Medicine, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences. All told, eighteen University of Washington departments are represented here.

The auditory centers of the avian brain include a flat sheet of neuronal cells (Nucleus laminaris, NL) that indicate sound direction. The upper side of these neurons receive signals from one ear and the lower side receive signals from the opposite ear. MORE >
Hair cells are highly specialized cells that are located in the inner ear organs and the lateral line neuromasts. They serve as the sensory receptors for hearing, equilibrium, and motion detection. MORE >
This striking image captures the difference between the auditory "hair cells" in the inner ear of a nomal mouse (left), and those of a hybrid mouse that is capable of complete hair cell loss (right). MORE >
Ethereal beauty of the microscopic world shines in this image of the inner ear of a mouse. MORE >
The surgery shown took place on October 21, 2010 - the first time ever for a patient to receive a specialized cochlear implant that seeks to relieve symptoms of disabling Meniere's Disease. The vertigo and nausea suffered during Meniere's attacks may be allayed by this device. MORE >

VIRGINIA MERRILL BLOEDEL HEARING RESEARCH CENTER

University of Washington, Box 357923, CHDD Building, CD176 Seattle, WA 98195-7923, Phone 206.685.2962, FAX 206.616.1828, bloedel@u.washington.edu