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Nat Commun. 2019 Apr 29;10(1):1962. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09980-7.

Near physiological spectral selectivity of cochlear optogenetics.

Dieter A1,2, Duque-Afonso CJ1,2,3, Rankovic V1,4,5, Jeschke M1,4,6, Moser T7,8,9,10.

Author information

1
Institute for Auditory Neuroscience and InnerEarLab, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37075, Göttingen, Germany.
2
Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences, University of Göttingen, 37075, Göttingen, Germany.
3
Auditory Neuroscience Group, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, 37075, Göttingen, Germany.
4
Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory, German Primate Center, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
5
Restorative Cochlear Genomics Group, Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory, German Primate Center, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
6
Cognitive Hearing in Primates Group, Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory, German Primate Center, 37077, Göttingen, Germany.
7
Institute for Auditory Neuroscience and InnerEarLab, University Medical Center Göttingen, 37075, Göttingen, Germany. tmoser@gwdg.de.
8
Göttingen Graduate School for Neurosciences and Molecular Biosciences, University of Göttingen, 37075, Göttingen, Germany. tmoser@gwdg.de.
9
Auditory Neuroscience Group, Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, 37075, Göttingen, Germany. tmoser@gwdg.de.
10
Auditory Neuroscience and Optogenetics Laboratory, German Primate Center, 37077, Göttingen, Germany. tmoser@gwdg.de.

Abstract

Cochlear implants (CIs) electrically stimulate spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) and partially restore hearing to half a million CI users. However, wide current spread from intracochlear electrodes limits spatial selectivity (i.e. spectral resolution) of electrical CIs. Optogenetic stimulation might become an alternative, since light can be confined in space, promising artificial sound encoding with increased spectral selectivity. Here we compare spectral selectivity of optogenetic, electric, and acoustic stimulation by multi-channel recordings in the inferior colliculus (IC) of gerbils. When projecting light onto tonotopically distinct SGNs, we observe corresponding tonotopically ordered IC activity. An activity-based comparison reveals that spectral selectivity of optogenetic stimulation is indistinguishable from acoustic stimulation for modest intensities. Moreover, optogenetic stimulation outperforms bipolar electric stimulation at medium and high intensities and monopolar electric stimulation at all intensities. In conclusion, we demonstrate better spectral selectivity of optogenetic over electric SGN stimulation, suggesting the potential for improved hearing restoration by optical CIs.

PMID:
31036812
PMCID:
PMC6488702
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-019-09980-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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