The InnerEarLab explores sensory processing in the inner ear during normal and impaired function. A common focus of the groups in the InnerEarLab is on sensory encoding in the inner ear by specialized synapses the hair cell ribbon synapses. We combine various techniques for studying the molecular anatomy and physiology of these synapses. The junior group of Ellen Reisinger deals with the molecular biology and genetics of cochlear neurotransmission, studying gene expression, protein biochemistry and structure of hair cell synaptic proteins and performs genetic manipulations of hair cells for physiological studies and preparing the grounds for future gene therapy. The junior group of Carolin Wichmann studies the molecular ultrastructure of synapses using light and electron microscopy. The group of Tobias Moser uses patch-clamp, optical methods, and biophysical modeling to study structure and function of hair cell ribbon synapse and the endbulb of Held synapse in the cochlear nucleus. The junior group of Tina Pangršič Vilfan studies the molecular and cellular physiology of vestibular neurotransmission. The junior group of Nicola Strenzke studies auditory systems physiology at the single neuron and population levels. The group of Bernstein Fellow Andreas Neef uses experiments and modeling to explore sound encoding at the microscopic scale. The Canis group studies cochlear blood flow using intravital microscopy and pharmacology. The Moser and Strenzke groups also work on establishing optogenetic stimulation of the auditory nerve as a tool for auditory research and improved hearing restoration by cochlear implants. The Canis, Moser, and Strenzke groups also perform clinical research.


Institute for Auditory Neuroscience
Department of Otolaryngology
Sensory Research Center SFB 889
Center for Molecular Physiology of the Brain
Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience
University Medical Center Goettingen
D-37075 Göttingen

Tel: +49 (0)551 3922837
Fax: +49 (0)551 3912950

Job offers

  • Postdoctoral position in physiological analysis of cochlear optogenetics ... [ more ]
  • Postdoctoral position in optical analysis of cochlear optogenetics ... [ more ]

Press Release

  • Taube Ohren lernen, Töne zu sehen
    Zukunftstechnik reizt gemanipulierten Hörnerv mit Licht [more]
  • Optogenetics in Cellular Biology and Human Disease Models[more]
  • Schwerhörigkeit: "Licht könnte den Menschen mehr Informationen über Tonhöhen zurückgeben“[more]
  • Göttinger "Händel-Talk" mit Wissenschaftlern und Musikern: Die Dosis macht den Hörgenuss [more]
  • Wie künstliches Hören durch Licht natürlicher werden könnte [more]
  • Was Musik-Machen mit Musik-Hören zu tun hat [more]
  • Mit Licht hören: Optogenetische Cochlea-Implantate bieten neue Möglichkeiten [more]

Seminars, Symposia, and Courses

  • November 6th, 2019

    SFB889 Colloquium: „Mapping cochlear circuits using volume electron microscopy“ [more]

Recent Publications

  • β-secretase BACE1 is required for normal cochlear function [more]
  • Sensory processing at ribbon synapses in the retina and the cochlea [more]
  • Pou4f1 defines a subgroup of Type I spiral ganglion neurons and is necessary for normal inner hair cell presynaptic Ca2+ signaling [more]
  • Nanomachinery organizing release at neuronal and ribbon synapses [more]
  • Near physiological spectral selectivity of cochlear optogenetics [more]
  • Intrinsic planar polarity mechanisms influence the position-dependent regulation of synapse properties in inner hair cells [more]
  • Mapping developmental maturation of inner hair cell ribbon synapses in the apical mouse cochlea [more]