Australia-NZ Tinnitus Interest Group

Leads: A/P Grant Searchfield, Dr Mike Maslin, Dr Alicja Malicka

The Eisdell Moore Centre is hosting a new initiative that aims to bring together researchers and clinicians with and interest in tinnitus research and/or provision of services to clients suffering from tinnitus. We plan to meet regularly to discuss the current status of tinnitus research in collaborative and supportive environment but also to initiate potential new collaborations.

We have hosted 2 webinars in 2021, with talks from A/P Grant Searchfield (University of Auckland) and Dr Alicja Malicka (La Trobe University, Melbourne)

How do we hear?

Dr Haruna Suzuki-Kerr (The University of Auckland)

Being Brainy is a free teaching resource that allows primary and intermediate school teachers to take students on an exciting 8-week programme full of hands-on activities, experiments and inquiry about the human brain.  During lockdown Being Brainy put a range of video resources online for teachers and students.  EMC researcher, Haruna Suzuki-Kerr, and her excellent assistant Hiroto, filmed some cool videos and experiments that show how we hear.

Multisensory Integration as a Measure of Plasticity and Cognitive Ageing

Dr Philip Sanders (The University of Auckland)

This webinar provides a summary of the author’s thesis on multisensory perception, cognition and training induced plasticity. A concise summary of the topic area is provided along with an explanation of the key findings of the thesis. And finally, a nod towards the possible implications for improving cognition, and the potential clinical applications related to sensory training for arresting cognitive decline.

Email Dr Sanders here if you have any questions or comments about these presentations.

Challenges and Opportunities for Global Public Hearing Health

Prof. Andrew Smith (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)

In this talk I will address the challenges faced by Global Hearing Health, illustrated by some of the programs I have been involved with in low and middle income (LMI) countries. The challenges include the rising numbers and location of hearing loss, lack of information and awareness, and the scarcity of resources in terms of training, personnel and funding. Opportunities are emerging through the public health approach to develop sustainable initiatives in low and middle income countries, and the increasing role of bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). The situation is urgent because the global burden of hearing loss is increasing rapidly.

CMV Specialty Clinic at the Hearing House – a Pilot Programme

A/P Holly Teagle (The Hearing House and The University of Auckland)

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a commonly occurring virus that, if contracted by pregnant women, carries substantial risks and implications for hearing health as well as a host of other aspects childhood development like physical and cognitive development. This webinar offers a detailed description and evaluation of an initiative currently underway at The Hearing House that is aimed at drawing together clinicians from across disciplines so that they can provide a more coherent and easily accessible journey for patients and families affected by CMV, share knowledge about resources, and provide a platform for addressing clinical research questions.

Email A/P Teagle here if you have any questions or comments about these presentations.

The Vestibular System and Cognitive Function

Prof. Paul Smith (University of Otago)

Our sense of place and our ability to navigate within our environment are fundamental to our existence.  Prof Smith and colleagues have shown that interactions between the vestibular organs of the ear and the hippocampus, the memory centre in the brain, are vital for these senses.  This two-part webinar will provide a wide-ranging overview of anatomical, physiological and behavioural evidence for the relationship between hippocampal function and vestibular sensation and a fascinating insight into the complex and rich vestibular-hippocampal interactions and their relevance for development of spatial memory.  In addition, the talks have translational relevance with respect to understanding the possible impairments that patients with vestibular impairment may experience, and the scope for compensation following vestibular lesions.

Email Prof. Smith here if you have any questions or comments about these presentations.