BioRN Lounge: Learning the physiological basis of the Cocktail Party effect with Eckhard Friauf from TU Kaiserslautern.
Last BioRN Lounge of the year before the winter sleep, led us to the magical world of hearing.
As usual it was the occasion for life science companies as well for scientists from our research institutes, to meet and chat about latest news and achievements. The BioRN Lounge is the prime monthly networking event for BioRN members. It is the occasion for exchange, meeting and interaction in a very relaxed atmosphere with some drinks and food.
As tradition, an invited speaker from the network presents and discusses with the participants, scientific trends, outbreaking techniques, outstanding research and more. Yesterday the Lounge hosted Eckard Friauf, Head of the Animal Physiology Department at Kaiserslautern University.
Eckhard Friauf spent 35 years of his research on the auditory brainstem specifically on the superior olivary nucleus (SOC). The SOC is the first component of the central ascending auditory pathways beyond the cochlear curtain.
In the SOC highly specialised and potent synapses make possible to both segregate different stimuli into different streams, and subsequently decide which streams are most pertinent. Therefore, it is possible to focus on a single conversation in a noisy room, and deal with the so-called cocktail party effect. The SOC allows this by measuring the time difference of arrival of sounds and the difference in sound intensity between the ears.
“Indeed, we do not hear with the cochlea but with the brain. Differently from other sensory systems such as skin and eye, the auditory system needs five different stations before the auditory cortex in order to build a sound map in the brain” said Eckhard Friauf.
Our next BioRN lounge will be on February 26 as usual in the Kasselhaus by Urban Kitchen and will host Andreas Pahl, Heidelberg Pharma.
BioRN is a life science research and industry cluster dedicated to the development of cell-specific, molecular and personalised innovative treatments. The BioRN Cluster stands for the development, networking, representation and promotion of the life science region into one of the leading life science clusters in Europe.
The cluster-members include renowned academic research institutions such as the Universities of Heidelberg, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and big pharmaceutical companies such as AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Roche, und Sanofi-Aventis, and about 80 small and medium-sized biotech enterprises. Beyond the members registered in the cluster, BioRN gives access to a wider network via partnerships and collaborations.
In terms of the use of clusters for the internationalization of companies, BioRN has founded, together with Leuven (Belgium), Maastricht (Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark), an alliance for the enforcement of biomedical innovation in Europe, called the Health Axis Europe.