Amanda Lauer, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, discusses how research on bats — yes, bats — help scientists understand the dynamics of age-related hearing loss on a microscopic scale.
Age-related hearing loss, Lauer explains, affects the parts of the brain responsible for processing sound but also things like mood, depression, anxiety, and increased risk of dementia. Her work, supported by the David M. Rubenstein Hearing Center, uses electron microscopy to examine synaptic and nanoscale structures. She’s collaborating with the Comparative Neural Systems and Behavior Laboratory — a.k.a., the Bat Lab, run by Professor Cynthia Moss in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences — because bats are hearing specialists that use echolocation to survive.
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