Dr. Susan Shore received her B.S. in speech pathology and audiology and her M.A. in hearing science from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She then completed her Ph.D. in physiology at the Kresge Hearing Research Laboratory of the South, Louisiana State University Medical Center. Her postdoctoral fellowships included the University of Pittsburgh and here at the University of Michigan Medical School.
Areas of Interest
Over the past decade, the Shore Laboratory has studied the contributions of multisensory systems to auditory processing. In particular, the lab discovered that ‘touch-sensitive’ neurons in the brain, that receive input from the face and head, send neural projections to the auditory system. These projections terminate in the first stop in the brain, the cochlear nucleus, which receives input directly from the cochlea. Our work has shown that these ‘somatosensory’ neurons can alter the cochlear nucleus response to sound. Most remarkably, after deafness, there is a strong enhancement in somatosensory influences on the cochlear nucleus, as if in compensation for the loss of input from the cochlea. An undesirable side effect of these somatosensory inputs, which are excitatory, is the development of tinnitus (ringing in the ear). The lab's past work demonstrated that in animals with tinnitus (tested behaviorally), the major change in the cochlear nucleus was an increase in excitation from the somatosensory system (see press release). Work extending these findings is now focused on synaptic plasticity as an underlying mechanism to explain the long-term nature of these changes. Ongoing work is laying the groundwork for treatments that include specific, patterned stimulation that may reverse the increased excitation that contributes to tinnitus (see 2018 press release).
Honors & Awards
- Teaching Assistantship in Physiology, Department of Physiology, Louisiana State University Medical School
- Masters Degree in Audiology, Cum Laude
- Lydia Adams de Witt Award for Women in Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan
- Research Faculty Achievement Award, University of Michigan
Dehmel S, Pradhan S, Koehler SC, Bledsoe S, and Shore SE. "Noise over-exposure alters long-term somatosensory-auditory processing in the dorsal cochlear nucleus - possible basis for tinnitus-related hyperactivity?" Journal of Neuroscience 32: 5, 1660-71, 2012 (Press Release: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/tinnitus-kresge-0201).
Koehler SD and Shore SE. Stimulus-timing-dependent plasticity in dorsal cochlear nucleus is altered in tinnitus. Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (50):19647-56, 2013. Press release: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201312/u-m-tinnitus-discovery-opens-door-possible-new-treatment
Wu C, Martel DT and Shore SE (2015). Transcutaneous induction of stimulus-timing-dependent plasticity in dorsal cochlear nucleus. Front. Syst. Neurosci. 9:116. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2015
Wu, C, Martel, DT, Shore, SE. Increased synchrony and bursting of dorsal cochlear nucleus fusiform cells correlate with tinnitus. Journal of Neuroscience: 36:6, 2068-73, 2016.