An interesting discovery by researchers with be published in Neuroscience regarding the hair cells of the inner ear. Using a high voltage electron microscope, the researchers determined that the rootlets of the hair cells continue through the cell to the striated organelle which is believed to be responsible for the cell's stability. With the striated organelle connecting the rootlets to the cell membrane, this offers the opportunity of feedback from the cell to the very detectors that detect motion. One of the researchers states the following: "this suggests a new way to envision how hair cells work. Just as the brain adjusts the sensitivity of retinal cells in the eye to light, it may also modulate the sensitivity of hair cells in the inner ear to sound and head position". Feedback from the brain could be what changes the tension on the rootlets of the hair cells and their sensitivity to stimuli.
Do you find that children with sound sensitivity also have vestibular processing problems or vice versa? I have been looking for research on this topic and have come up with some that states vestibular processing problems may be associated with auditory processing problems but have come up empty handed on sound sensitivity. Can anyone offer any insight? Thanks in advance.
Reference: University of Illinois at Chicago (2012, March 8). Discovery of hair-cell roots suggests the brain modulates sound sensitivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2012/03/120308174651.htm