Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences

Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences



SPHS 6200

Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of the Auditory and Vestibular Systems

Fall - 2015

INSTRUCTOR:Kamakshi V. Gopal, Ph.D., CCC-A.

CLASS:Fridays 8:30 to 11:20 AM


OFFICE: UNT Speech and Hearing Clinic - 267

OFFICE HRS:Mondays and Fridays 13:30 –15:00 Hrs BY APPOINTMENT


Research Assistant: Kevin Hamilton


Course Description:

Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology of the hearing and balance systems. Emphasis on both afferent and efferent systems.

Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to provide the students with a strong background in anatomy and physiology of the auditory and vestibular systems. This course will facilitate learning of pathologies of the auditory and vestibular structures, as well as understanding of the principles that underlie diagnostic test procedures used in audiological and vestibular assessment.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, the students should be knowledgeable in basic neurological principles as well as in the anatomy and physiology of the auditory and vestibular systems.

Required Text:

Webster, D.B. 1999. Neuroscience of communication. (II ed). Singular Publishing Group, Inc., San Diego.

Course Requirement:

Satisfactory completion of all readings, presentation, term paper, and passing of all exams.

Learning Objectives of Course and Program, and Standards of Profession

This course fulfills the following competencies from the Knowledge and Skills Acquisition (KASA) summary form, B4 and B8.

Course Outline:

Days /
/ Readings
Organization of the brain
a. CNS
b. PNS
c. Neuronal components d. Descriptors of the brain / Webster Ch 1
09-04 / The Cerebral Hemispheres and
Sub-cortical structures / Webster Ch 1 & 3
09-11 / The Cranial Nerves and
Neurovasculature / Webster Ch 3
09-18 / Neurons and glial cells / Webster Ch 2
09-25 / Neurotransmitters in the brain
Review / Handouts and class
10-02 /

Exam 1

Anatomy and physiology of the auditory system / Webster Ch 8
10-09 / The Cochlea
Transduction in the cochlea / Webster Ch 8
10-16 / The eighth nerve, Cochlear Nucleus
and Superior Olivary Complex / Webster Ch 8 & 9
10-23 / Lateral leminscus and
Inferior colliculus, MGB and AC
Review / Webster Ch 9, 10
10-30 / Exam 2
The Vestibular system / Webster Ch 7
11-06 / The Vestibular system / Webster Ch 7
11-13 / Vestibular system … continued
Student Presentations / Webster Ch 7 and
Class lectures
11-20 / Student Presentations (continued…)
Paper submission by 9 am Dec 01
(Monday) / Exam 3
8:00 to 10:00 am in WH 118

Additional readings may be recommended as needed



Presentation 10

Paper 15

Exam 1 25

Exam 2 25

Exam 3 25




All exams are cumulative; however, exams 2 and 3 will emphasize course material covered in later classes. Final percentages will be computed and grades will be assigned according to the following criteria:

Percentage Final Grade






Students will work in groups of two or three for the presentation/paper activities. Each group will pick a topic of interest in the area of neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of auditory or vestibular systems, discuss it with the instructor, conduct a thorough review of literature of the topic, compile information from at least 5 authoritative sources (books and/or journals), write up a comprehensive paper 5-6 pages in length (excluding references). The paper should be presented in class, and must also be submitted (hard and soft copies) to the instructor. The paper should contain all the corrections made by the instructor during the presentation, and must be submitted by 9 am Dec 01.

No alternate exams will be provided, except in emergency cases (proof required). Failure to be present for a scheduled exam or presentation will result in a failing grade on that activity.

Academic Integrity:

Any kind of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated, and will result in formal disciplinary action. The University’s rules on academic integrity regarding cheating, plagiarism etc., will be enforced vigorously. Academic dishonesty is defined in the UNT Policy on Student Standards for Academic Integrity. Any suspected case of Academic Dishonestly will be handled in accordance with the University policy and procedures. Possible academic penalties range from a verbal or written admonition to a grade of "F" in the course. Further sanctions may apply to incidents involving major violations. You will find the policy and procedures at
Student Behavior in the Classroom:

Student behavior that interferes with an instructor's ability to conduct a class or other students' opportunity to learn is unacceptable and disruptive and will not be tolerated in any instructional forum at UNT. Students engaging in unacceptable behavior will be directed to leave the classroom and the instructor may refer the student to the Center for Student Rights and Responsibilities to consider whether the student's conduct violated the Code of Student Conduct. The university's expectations for student conduct apply to all instructional forums, including university and electronic classroom, labs, discussion groups, field trips, etc. The Code of Student Conduct can be found at

Regular attendance is expected from all students. Any student wanting accommodation to observe a religious holiday must inform the instructor a minimum of three days prior to the observed religious holiday and make appropriate arrangements for the class activities that he or she may be missing.


The department of Speech and Hearing Sciences cooperates with the Office of Disability Accommodation (ODA) to make reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities (cf. Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504, Rehabilitation Act). We encourage all students with disabilities to register with ODA. If you need any accommodation for a disability, please present your written request to your instructor on or before the 12th class day. If you experience any problems in getting reasonable accommodation, please contact the Departmental Chair or the ODA.


The Student Evaluation of Teaching Effectiveness (SETE) is a requirement for all organized classes at UNT, including this class. A short survey will be made available to you at the end of the semester, providing you with a chance to comment on how this class is taught. I am very interested in the feedback I get from students, as I work to continually improve my teaching. I consider the SETE to be an important part of your participation in this class, so please do not forget to fill out the SETE.

The syllabus is not a contract, it is a guide for students regarding academic success and behavior. The Professor reserves the right to change the contents if required, and students will be notified of every change ahead of time.

Recommended readings

Appler, J.M. & Goodrich, L.V. (2011). Connecting the ear to the brain: molecular mechanisms of auditory circuit assembly. Prog. Neurobiol, (4): 488-508.

Musiek, F.E., & Baran, J.A. (1986). Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and central auditory assessment. Part I: Brain stem. Ear and Hearing, 7, 207-219.

Musiek, F.E. (1986). Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and central auditory assessment. Part II: The cerebrum. Ear and Hearing, 7, 283-294.

Musiek, F.E. (1986). Neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, and central auditory assessment. Part III: Corpus callosum and efferent pathways. Ear and Hearing, 7, 349-358.

Hunter, C., Doi, K., & Wenthold, R.J. (1992). Neurotransmission in the auditory system. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, 25, 1027-1052.

Kingsley, R.E. (2000). Concise Text of Neuroscience. (II edition). Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia.

Rubel, E.W., Fritzsch, B. (2002). Auditory system development: primary auditory

neurons and their targets. Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 25, 51–101.

Seikel, J.A., King, D.W., Drumright, D.G. ( 2010). Anatomy and Physiology for Speech, Language and Hearing. Delmar Cengage Learing. Australia.

Tritsch, N.X., Yi, E., Gale, J.E., Glowatzki, E., Bergles, D.E., (2007). The origin of

spontaneous activity in the developing auditory system. Nature 450, 50–55.