Aging processes in the subcortical auditory system

Donald M. Caspary, Daniel A. Llano

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


As arguably the third most common malady of industrialized populations, age-related hearing loss is associated with social isolation and depression in a subset of the population that will approach 25% by 2050. Development of behavioral or pharmacotherapeutic approaches to prevent or delay the onset of age-related hearing loss and mitigate the impact of hearing loss of speech understanding requires a better understanding of age-related changes that occur in the central auditory processor. This chapter critically reviews and discusses changes that occur in the auditory brainstem and thalamus with increased age. It briefly discusses age-related cellular changes that occur de novo within the central auditory system versus deafferentation plasticity and animal models of aging. Subsections discuss the cochlear nucleus, superior olivary complex, inferior colliculus, and the medial geniculate body with an emphasis on age-related changes in neurotransmission and how these changes could underpin the observed loss of precise temporal processing with increased age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Auditory Brainstem
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages41
ISBN (Print)9780190849061
StatePublished - Apr 5 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Brainstem aging
  • Central auditory system
  • Dorsal cochlear nucleus
  • Inferior colliculus
  • Medial geniculate body
  • Presbycusis
  • Superior olivary complex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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