Scientists from Göttingen found that synapses on the abneural side (right side in the illustration) of the inner hair cell were active. They produced neurotransmitter release at weaker potentials than the ones on the neural side (left side). Figure: Özçete, UMG

Synaptic diversity broadens the range of sound we can hear

Hearing occurs when sensory hair cells in the inner ear convert sound into neural signals transmitted to the brain. The sensory hair cells have about a dozen communication points with the auditory nerve fibers, called synapses. Scientists from the Institute for Auditory Neuroscience at the University Medical Center Göttingen discovered that the synapses of a single sensory hair cell process sound information differently. This diversity contributes to processing of a wide range of sound volumes. Published in The EMBO Journal.

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