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Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 2004 May;(552):6-10.

Maturation and plasticity of the central auditory system.

Author information

  • Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Neurobiological Research Laboratory, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. rbi@ukl.uni-freiburg.de


Studies across mammalian species have indicated that the ontogeny of the central auditory system relies on the utilization of both genetic and environmental instructions. Both types of instructions are relevant for the development of cortical as well as subcortical systems and are apparently used for the establishment of a wide range of functions from cochleotopic representation to language-specific filters in humans. To show this, the pre- and postnatal development of the mammalian central auditory system are briefly considered on seven levels of neuronal organization: neurogenesis, axonal growth, axonal maturation, synaptic maturation, cochleotopy, the descending auditory system, and adult plasticity.

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