PHYL5510 Physiology of the Auditory System

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit provides an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of hearing, hearing impairment and tinnitus. It covers normal peripheral and central processing of sound, including acoustics of the external ear, middle-ear function, cochlear mechanics, hair cell physiology, neural signalling, strial function and fluid and salt balance in the inner ear, peripheral and central lesions, conductive losses, sensori-neural losses, cochlear and retro-cochlear problems, and some issues in vestibular physiology. Causes of hearing problems are covered including otitis externa, acute otitis media, glue ear, cholesteotoma, ossicular discontinuity and fixation, barotrauma, fistula, facial nerve disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, Meniere's disease, dizziness, acoustic neuroma, intracranial tumours, noise-induced hearing loss, ototoxicity, presbyacusis, sudden hearing loss, auditory neuropathology, and systemic diseases affecting hearing and auditory syndromes. The unit explains the physiological basis and diagnosis of peripheral and central processing of sound, and the deficits that result from different hearing impairments.
Students are able to explain the physiological basis of normal hearing, including mechanical, hair cell and neural aspects of auditory transduction, and how malfunction of this normal physiology produces pathological responses within the inner ear and central auditory nervous system.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) continuous assessment and (2) an end-of-semester theory examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Helmy Mulders
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Clinical Audiology (90540)
the combined Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Clinical Audiology (00840)
the Master of Biomedical Science (71520)
the Master of Health Science (71540)
the Master of Audiological Sciences (73560)
for students enrolled in the Master of Clinical Audiology (90540) only: PHYL5501 Audiological Instrumentation
PHYL5502 Basic Clinical Audiology Part 1
PHYL5515 Hearing Devices and Adult Aural Rehabilitation,for students enrolled in the Master of Audiological Sciences (73560) only: PHYL5501 Audiological Instrumentation
PHYL5503 Professional and scientific communication
PHYL5504 Basic adult hearing assessment
Advisable prior study:
some biology
physiology is recommended
Contact hours
equivalent to 2 hours of lectures per week, but delivered in an intensive 5-week course, followed by two weeks of workshops in February to May
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

Pickles, J. O. An Introduction to the Physiology of Hearing, 4th edn: Brill 2013


Gelfund, S. A. Hearing: an Introduction to Psychological and Physiological Acoustics, 2nd edn: Marcel Dekker Press 1998

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