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Course Description

The Neurobiology of Hearing provides an introduction to the auditory system and current research in auditory neuroscience. This field is a microcosm of neuroscience, in general, and the interdisciplinary approach embodied by neuroscience. Students will develop a detailed understanding of the peripheral and central auditory system and the neurobiological basis of sound processing. The course is taught by a faculty drawn from UConn at UConn Health and Storrs, the Institute for Neuroscience at University of Salamanca, and Johns Hopkins Medical School plus guest lectures who in past years have come from the MRC Institute of Hearing, University of Leicester, and University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom and the University of Pittsburgh, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin, and Duke University in the USA. The diverse areas of expertise of the faculty guarantees that the students will be exposed to different aspects of auditory research and neuroscience including synaptic physiology, neural circuitry, acoustics, auditory physiology, and behavior. The diversity also guarantees that the student will not be bored by a single professor. Students will be assessed on their classroom participation, papers, and critiques of papers. Students will receive grades based on exams and papers in which they propose a hypothesis-driven experiment directly related to previous lectures in the course. Students also will be graded on their critiques of papers by other students. There will be student presentations of research proposals the final week.

The course also includes a short course in Neuroscience Methods. This requires a trip to Prague in the Czech Republic to the Institute for Experimental Medicine at the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague where there is a large group of scientists that also study the neurobiology of hearing.

Recommended Texts

  • The Mammalian Auditory Pathways: Synaptic Organization and Microcircuits. [2018] Douglas L Oliver, Nell B. Cant, Richard R. Fay, and Arthur  N. Popper; Springer Handbook of Auditory Research, vol 65. Springer.ISBN 978-3-319-71796-8 (Hardcover); ISBN 978-3-319-71798-2 (eBook)
  • Auditory Neuroscience: Making Sense of Sound [2010] Jan Schnupp, Israel Nelken, Andrew J King; The MIT Press; 1 edition; ISBN-10: 026211318X;  ISBN-13: 978-0262113182; Kindle edition available.

The Neurobiology of Hearing is part of the Neuroscience Study Abroad Program in Salamanca Spain, and it is taught in the summer in Spain. This course is for graduate students in neuroscience and hearing research and upper level undergraduate students with majors in biology, neurobiology, audiology, biomedical engineering, or other premedical majors.

Visit the Neuroscience Study Abroad Program for more information.


May 18 to June 18, 2020 – Five weeks.
Study Abroad Program Dates: May 16-June 21, 2020


Monday through Thursday, 2 hours/day, 40 hours total, 12 to 2 p.m.
Paper due Tuesday; critique due Wednesday.


Institute for Neuroscience of Castilla y Leon
University of Salamanca
Salamanca, Spain


Douglas L. Oliver, Ph.D.
Course Director
Professor of Neuroscience
University of Connecticut School of Medicine
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3401 USA

Amanda Lauer, Ph.D.
Course Co-Director
Assistant Professor
Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
515 Traylor Building
720 Rutland Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21205