Vestibular Sciences

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Vestibular Physiology and Balance Disorders

The Zhu Lab

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Selected Project: Noise-induced vestibular deficits

The vestibular system is exquisitely sensitive to head rotation, translation, and movement with respect to gravity. Because the anatomic proximity of the vestibular labyrinth to the sound delivery system, they are also impacted by acoustic stimulation. It has been shown that large proportion of subjects experiencing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) also exhibit signs of vestibular deficiency. The mechanisms of NIHL have been extensively investigated, however, the mechanisms underlying the accompanying vestibular deficits remain to be elucidated. The goal of the current project is to fill this important knowledge gap by examining the effects of noise exposure on vestibular end organ morphology and vestibular afferents' sensitivity to head rotation and linear translation.