Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

Living Edition
| Editors: Dieter Jaeger, Ranu Jung

Anatomy and Physiology of the Mammalian Auditory System

  • Manuel S. Malmierca
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7320-6_286-1

An auditory system is found in all classes of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds, and mammals. Although there are important similarities across classes, the system has evolved differently in the different groups. Even within the class of mammals, there are notable specializations, especially in echolocating mammals such as cetaceans and bats. Because one major objective in hearing research is to understand the structure and physiology of the human auditory system, this entry is restricted to an overview of the general plan of organization of the mammalian system. Insights gained from research in animals should aid in identifying the causes of hearing impairments in humans and represent an important step toward developing effective treatments.

The specific auditory stimulus consists of pressure waves arriving at the ear within a certain frequency range. This audible frequency range varies among species (e.g., humans, 0.02–20 kHz; rat, 0.25 to 70 kHz; mouse, 2–70...


Auditory Cortex Inferior Colliculus Auditory Nerve Fiber Medial Geniculate Body Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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I am most thankful and indebted to Dr. Nell Cant for her suggestions and constructive criticisms on a previous version of the manuscript.

Financial support was provided by Spanish MINECO (BFU2009-07286) and EU (EUI2009-04083, in the framework of the ERA-NET Network of European Funding for Neuroscience Research).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cellular Biology and Pathology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of SalamancaSalamancaSpain
  2. 2.Auditory Neuroscience LaboratoryInstitute for Neuroscience of Castilla y LéonSalamancaSpain