Auditory Efferent Systems: Closing the Loop(s)


Dorothe Poggel


  • Laurel H. Carney, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA
  • Christine Köppl, University of Oldenburg
  • Go Ashida, University of Oldenburg

Members (to be confirmed)

  • Paul Delano, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • Ana Belen Elgoyan, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Paul Fuchs, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Elisabeth Glowatzki, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Lisa Goodrich, Harvard University, USA
  • Skyler Jennings, University of Utah, USA 
  • Tim Jürgens, Technische Hochschule Lübeck, Germany
  • Amanda Lauer, Johns Hopkins University, USA
  • Enrique Lopez-Poveda, University of Salamanca, Spain
  • Ivan Milenkovic, University of Oldenburg, Germany
  • Tobias Moser, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • Sondra Pyatt, University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands
  • Brett Schofield, Northeast Ohio Medical University, USA
  • Elizabeth Strickland, Purdue University, USA
  • Gonazalo Terreros, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • Lawrence Trussell, Oregon Health Science University, Portland, Oregon USA
  • Catherine Weisz, NIH-NIDCD, Bethesda, Maryland, USA


1. November 2024 – 31. October 2027  


The poorly understood auditory efferent systems represent roughly half of this sensorineural system. Although this complex topic has been carefully “avoided” by most investigators in our field for many years, the efferent systems are now receiving increased attention. Exciting work is emerging from a growing group of scientists located around the globe and rooted in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Anatomical and pharmacological studies are revealing new connections, pathways, and neurotransmitters involved in the efferent systems. Psychophysical approaches are using new stimulus paradigms to test hypotheses for the role of efferent systems in perception. New protocols for otoacoustic emissions have been developed to reveal the influence of efferent systems on cochlear gain. Computational modelers are including the efferent feedback pathways in nonlinear models for neural information processing. Novel hearing-aid and cochlear-implant signal processing strategies have been proposed based on early descriptions of efferent processing. We believe that the time is perfect to bring these groups together in a study group format, for interactive discussions that may spur collaborative efforts that will push the field forward.

Our goal is to assemble a diverse set of researchers who are interested in reaching out of their sub-discipline to interact with other scientists who are pursuing this fascinating system. A core group of members will represent the major disciplines that are involved in studies of the efferent system. Study group meetings will take advantage of hybrid technology to bring together larger groups of investigators around the globe. Presentations will include both tutorials on specialized and novel techniques, where appropriate, to bring all members of the group into the discussion, as well as presentations of cutting-edge results from each group. This effort is intended to appeal to scientists who are eager to step into unfamiliar territory to better understand new findings that may impact their own work, but for whom sufficient explanatory discussion may be required to appreciate and take advantage of these findings. Communications across and between subdisciplines will strengthen and facilitate progress on this frontier of auditory neuroscience and technology.


  • Create study group meetings that will be accessible in-person for European participants and others who have resources and time to travel to the HWK, as well as to a wider remote audience (e.g. students and post-doctoral fellows) who will participate using hybrid conferencing technology. 
  • First day of each study group meeting will consist of talks to disseminate recent developments with-in each sub-discipline to the wider group, with tutorial descriptions of novel techniques, where appropriate.
  • A video library of presentations will be created.
  • Second day of each study group meeting will be a focused discussion with a smaller group of investigators. Discussion will explore the impacts of new discoveries for other teams of investigators. Group size will be limited to facilitate discussion using hybrid technology.
  • A goal of discussions will be to pose and discuss testable hypotheses and to seek collaborative efforts that will push the field forward.
  •  Intermediate smaller group meetings may be scheduled to follow-up on discussion items.
  • Provide written reports (e.g., review articles, special issue of a journal, or chapters of a book) to disseminate exciting new directions to the wider neuroscience community in an accessible and archival format.


4.-6. November 2024: Kick-off workshop at the HWK

Further planned meetings

2025 – Remote meeting in ~April/May/June 2025; Hybrid meeting at the HWK in Nov 25
2026 – Remote meeting in ~April/May/June  2026; Hybrid meeting at the HWK in Nov ‘26
2027 – Remote meeting in ~April/May/June 2027