This chapter highlights the functional organization of the mouse auditory system and focuses on mouse as a useful and economical animal model for hearing research. Advances in gene targeting have led to a renaissance in the use of the mouse as a model for investigation of human disease mechanisms. Until recently, the most commonly used experimental animal for auditory research and many other fields in neuroscience was the cat; other species used to a lesser extent include the rat, guinea pig, chinchilla, gerbil, and ferret. The availability of strains of mice that carry specific genetic abnormalities affecting the brain, including the auditory system, has also proven useful to researchers. Understanding the diseases of the human auditory system and the underpinning cellular and molecular mechanisms is of primary interest in current hearing research. Comparative hearing research is important, because animal models can be developed, evaluated and eventually applied to clinical problems. The investigation of mouse mutants with hearing impairments is useful for elucidating the pathological processes underlying auditory defects, as well as for understanding the normal process of auditory development and sensory transduction. Deaf mouse mutants are also valuable for identifying the responsible genes by positional cloning, and are being used in the search for genes involved in human deafness.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||The Mouse Nervous System|
|Number of pages||39|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2012|
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