Depireux, Didier

Didier Depireux
Associate Research Scientist
Institute for Systems Research
A. James Clark School of Engineering
2205 A.V. Williams Building
General Research Interests: 
  • Computational model of hearing 
  • Modeling of the central nervous changes associated with the perception of tinnitus.
Didier Depireux joined the Institute for Systems Research in the summer of 2009. He is also an adjunct faculty at the Fischell BioEngineering department. He earned his doctorate in Physics (string
theory) with Dr S.J. Gates and did post-doctoral work in conformal field theory and integrable systems, before turning his attention to computational and wet neuroscience.
Didier Depireux's research focuses on the representation of speech in the auditory midbrain and cortex, and on the changes in the auditory pathway correlated with the induction of tinnitus by noise trauma or blast wave injury. In addition to modeling, progress is achieved by recordings from awake behaving rats, ferrets and mice, using chronic moveable electrode arrays, auditory brainstem response, startle reflex, and immunocytochemistry.
About the Ear Lab
With grant support from the Department of Defense, The Ear Lab measures the changes, at the level of the activity of single neurons over many weeks, that are correlated with the induction of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) following noise trauma. Specifically, the research uses behavioral measures to verify the emergence of tinnitus post-trauma, chronic electrode arrays to measure the activity of large populations of neurons before and after induction of tinnitus, and post-mortem immunocytochemical methods to uncover permanent changes in the brain. The Ear Lab wants to explore new drug delivery methods that might prevent the induction of or provide relief from tinnitus, a common affliction that has received very little scientific attention until recently.