• Question: Can you tell me more about the work you are doing at the moment?

    Asked by joe14 to Hannah on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Hannah Brotherton

      Hannah Brotherton answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      Hi joe14,
      Of course I can 😀

      So I look at a mechanism in the brain, called central gain (never liked the name lol). When we lose our hearing by listening to too much music we damage hairs in our ears. This stops the information of sound going to the brain.
      The brain is clever and tries to fix this by turning up its activity. It does this by turning up this central gain mechanism. But sometimes the brain can do this too much and become hyperactive.

      When it becomes hyperactive it can start hearing it self work. Normally the brain makes a sound (like a car engine) but when it becomes hyperactive it causes ringing in the ears (like when you rev a car – it is over working). This ringing in the ears, is what causes tinnitus – a hearing problem that can be really upsetting for apoplexy. It is like a bell going off in their head 24/7.

      If I can understand where this mechanism happens, how it happens, if I can change it and turn the brain activity down, I could find a cure for tinnitus.

      So my research involves brains, hearing, ears, psychology, emotions and hopefully coming up with a cure.

      So quickly going back to these hairs – no one believes me that we have them in our ears….look at this link – this is a hair cell in our ear that is literally dancing to a song – this is how we hear 😀 and probably why we dance lol