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Perspective Of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging In Middle Ear Research

Y. Chang, S. Lee
Published 2013 · Psychology, Medicine

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Functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have frequently been applied to study sensory system such as vision, language, and cognition, but have proceeded at a considerably slower speed in investigating middle ear and central auditory processing. This is due to several factors, including the intrinsic anatomy of the middle ear system and inherent acoustic noise during acquisition of MRI data. However, accumulating evidences have demonstrated that clarification of some fundamental neural underpinnings of audition associated with middle ear mechanics can be achieved using functional MRI methods. This mini review attempted to take a narrow snapshot of the currently available functional MRI procedures and gave examples of what may be learned about hearing from their application. It is hoped that with these technical advancements, many new high impact applications in audition would follow. In particular, because the fMRI can be used in humans and in animals, fMRI may represent a unique tool that should promote translational research by enabling parallel analyses of physiological and pathological processes in the human and animal auditory system. This article is part of a special issue entitled "MEMRO 2012".
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