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M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D.

Harvard Medical School

Harold F. Schuknecht Professor of Otology and Laryngology
Vice Chair of Basic Research, Department of Otolaryngology

Massachusetts Eye and Ear

Director, Eaton-Peabody Laboratories
Senior Scientist


Research Area Affiliations

Research Summary

Dr. Liberman studies the peripheral auditory system. The inner ear is connected to the brain by two kinds of sensory neurons, and is controlled by two neuronal feedback systems. The Liberman lab studies all four of these pathways, in normal hearing and in sensorineural hearing loss, particularly that caused by acoustic overexposure. One important focus of his recent research has been the effects of efferent feedback systems on the auditory system. His work has shown that this efferent feedback helps us discriminate sounds in a noisy environment and also protects the inner ear from damage following overexposure to loud sounds. His work uses a variety of approaches from systems neuroscience to cell and molecular biology.

Select Publications

Cochlear efferent feedback balances interaural sensitivity. Darrow KN, Maison SF, Liberman MC. Nature Neuroscience 2006; 9(12):1464-1476. PMC1806686

Adding insult to injury: cochlear nerve degeneration after "temporary" noise-induced hearing loss. Kujawa SG and Liberman MC. J. Neuroscience 2009 29(45): 14077-14085. PMC2812055

Onset coding is degraded in auditory nerve fibers from mutant mice lacking synaptic ribbons. Buran BN, Strenzke N, Neef A, Moser T and Liberman MC. J. Neuroscience 2010 30(22):7587-97. PMC2901931

Opposing gradients of ribbon size and glutamate-receptor expression underlie sensitivity differences among cochlear-nerve hair-cell synapses. Liberman LD, Wang H and Liberman MC. J. Neuroscience 2011 31(3):801-808. (Featured Article: TWIJ). PMC3290333

Efferent Feedback Minimizes Cochlear Neuropathy from Moderate Noise Exposure. Maison SF, Usubuchi H and Liberman MC. J. Neuroscience 2013 33(13): 5542-5552.

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Photo of M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D.

M. Charles Liberman, Ph.D.


243 Charles Street

Boston, MA 02114