Sina Engler

Otoacoustic emissions to probe cochlear frequency selectivity

Prof. dr. Pim van Dijk
Dr. ir. Emile de Kleine
Prof. dr. Nomdo Jansonius

Background & interests:
I received a MSc in Biology at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany, in 2016. My master thesis was entitled “Ribbon-synapse size along the tonotopic gradient of the gerbil cochlea”. During my Master’s degree, I also conducted an independent study of mother-pup communication of nectivorous bats in Santa Rosa, Costa Rica. Besides my main interest in audiology, I am also very interested in cues of animal navigation and communication.

Aim of the project:
Otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) are emitted from most healthy ears of young humans. This weak sound can be non-invasively measured within the inner ear canal. OAEs are thought to be useful to identify especially normal-tension glaucoma.
Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) have been observed in a variety of different vertebrates. The underlying mechanism producing the SOAEs and the meaning of their characteristics regarding the frequency sensitivity of an individual and species is still under debate.

The main goal of this study is to provide a better understanding of the cochlear tonotopy, particularly in mammals, and the potential uses of different measurements. Moreover, this PhD-project aims to provide insights to the basic hearing mechanisms and their relationship to glaucoma.

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