The University of Western Australia

UWA Staff Profile

Ipsum Lorem

Wilhelmina Mulders

Dr Helmy Mulders

Senior Lecturer
Human Sciences, School of

Contact details
School of Human Sciences
The University of Western Australia (M309)
35 Stirling Highway
+61 8 6488 3321
+61 8 6488 1025
Room 2.02A, Physiology Building, Perth campus
MSc PhD Nijmegen
I did my PhD in neuroanatomy in the Netherlands (awarded May 1997), using immunocytochemistry and neuronal tract-tracing to study the hypothalamic stress axis. In May 1996 I came to Australia for a post-doc position in the department of Anatomy and Human Biology at UWA to obtain experience with stereological techniques. At the end of 1998 I took up a position in the Auditory Laboratory at the department of Physiology in the, for me, new area of auditory physiology. I have been fortunate enough to be able to keep working in this Laboratory ever since, obtaining grants from NH&MRC and the RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People, UK). I also do some casual teaching in the area of neuroscience.
Key research
Auditory neuroscience
Hearing and deafness
Publications (from 2000)
1.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2000a) Morphological relationships of peptidergic and noradrenergic nerve terminals to olivocochlear neurons in the rat. Hear. Res. 144: 53-64.
2.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2000b) Direct cortical innervation of medial olivocochlear neurons in rats. Hear. Res. 144: 65-72.
3.Robertson, D., Mulders, W.H.A.M. (2000) Distribution and possible functional roles of some neuroactive peptides in the mammalian superior olivary complex. Microscopy Res. Technique 51:307-317.
4.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2000c) Effects on cochlear responses of activation of descending pathways from the inferior colliculus. Hear. Res. 149: 11-23.
5.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2001) Origin of the noradrenergic innervation of the superior olivary complex in the rat. J. Chem. Neuroanat. 21: 313-322.
6.Syková, E., Mazel, T., Hasenöhrl, R.U., Harvey, A.R., Šimonová, Z., Mulders, W.H.A.M., Huston, J. (2002) Learning deficits in aged rats relates to decrease in extracellular volume and diffusion anisotropy in hippocampus. Hippocampus 12: 469-479.
7.Mulders, W.HA.M., Robertson, D. (2002) Inputs from the cochlea and the inferior colliculus converge on olivocochlear neurons. Hear. Res. 167: 206-213.
8.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Winter, I.M., Robertson, D. (2002) Dual action of olivocochlear collaterals in the guinea pig cochlear nucleus. Hear. Res. 174: 264-280.
9.Mulders, W.HA.M., Paolini, A.G., Needham, K., Robertson, D. (2003) Olivocochlear collaterals evoke excitatory effects in onset neurons of the rat cochlear nucleus. Hear. Res. 176: 113-121
10.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2004) Dopaminergic olivocochlear neurons originate in the high frequency region of the lateral superior olive of guinea pigs. Hear. Res. 187: 122-130.
11.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2005) Diverse responses of single auditory afferent fibers to electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus in guinea pig. Exp. Brain Res. 160:235-244.
12.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2005) Noradrenergic modulation of brainstem nuclei alters cochlear neural output. Hear. Res. 204:147-155.
13.Layton, M.G., Robertson, D., Everett, A.W., Mulders, W.H.A.M., Yates, G.K. (2005) Cellular localisation of voltage-gated calcium channels and synaptic vesicle-associated proteins in the guinea pig cochlea. J. Mol. Neurosci. 27:225-244.
14.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2005) Catecholaminergic innervation of guinea pig superior olivary complex. J. Chem. Neuroanat. 30:230-242.
15.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2006) Gentamicin abolishes all cochlear effects of electrical stimulation of the inferior colliculus. Exp. Brain Res. 174: 35-44.
16.Mulders W.H.A.M. (2006) Efferent control of hearing. Invited review. Acoustics Australia 34: 19-24.
17.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Harvey, A.R., Robertson, D. (2007) Electrically-Evoked responses in Onset Chopper Neurons in Guinea Pig Cochlear Nucleus. J. Neurophysiol. 97: 3288-3297.
18.Seluakumaran, K., Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2008) Effects of medial olivocochlear stimulation on the activity of neurons in the auditory midbrain. Exp Brain Res. 186: 161-174.
19.Mulders, W.H.A.M., Seluakumaran, K., Robertson, D. (2008) Effects of centrifugal pathways on responses of cochlear nucleus neurons to signals in noise. Eur J Neurosci. 27: 702-714.
20.Seluakumaran, K., Mulders, W.H.A.M., Robertson, D. (2008) Unmasking Effects of Olivocochlear Efferent Activation on Responses of Inferior Colliculus Neurons. Hear. Res. 243(1-2):35-46.
21.Dong, S, Mulders, W.H.A.M, Rodger, J., Robertson, D. (2009) Changes in neuronal activity and gene expression in guinea pig auditory brainstem and midbrain after unilateral partial hearing loss. Neuroscience 159:1164-1174.
Funding received
NH&MRC project grant 2002-2004
NH&MRC project grant 2005-2007
RNID, UK, grant 2008-2010
Member of the Australian Neuroscience Association.
Member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, USA.
2005; Co-organizer 2nd Australasian Auditory Neuroscience Workshop, Perth, Australia.
2009; Principal organizer 5th Australasian Auditory Neuroscience Workshop, Canberra.
Current projects
My research into the auditory system can be divided into two lines of research. The first is focused on plasticity of the auditory system. Plasticity is known to occur after hearing loss and is thought to be involved in the generation of tinnitus, the perception of phantom sounds. I use single neuron recordings in guinea pigs to investigate the increased spontaneous activity following hearing loss. This research is accompanied by behavioral as well as gene expression studies in the same animals. The second is the study of the role of the descending or efferent pathways. These are prolific in the auditory system and have the capacity to modulate the ascending information at every stage from cochlea to cortex and are thought to be involved in optimizing signal in noise discrimination. It is one of the key roles of the auditory system to extract important signals from noise (for example, the recognition of an approaching predator but also distinguishing the voice of the interesting person next to you from all other voices at a noisy party). I have worked for the last 10 years on the olivocochlear efferents that project from the central nervous system (brainstem) out to the periphery (the cochlea). Using a combination of neuroanatomical and neurophysiological techniques I am interested in the effects of this system on sound processing, particularly in noisy environments and how the system is modulated by both auditory and non-auditory brainstructures.

Prof. Donald Robertson, UWA
Dr Ian Winter, University of Cambridge UK
Dr. Tony Paolini, La Trobe University
Dr. Alan Harvey, UWA
Dr. Jenny Rodger, UWA
Research profile
Research profile and publications

The University of Western Australia

This Page

Last updated:
Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 2:39 PM