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Hearing

The mission of the Hearing Research Program is to advance our understanding of the mechanisms and effects of hearing loss, to improve diagnostics methods, intervention procedures, and prevention strategies.

Explore Our Laboratories

Dubno Laboratory
Eckert Laboratory
Harris Laboratory
Lang Laboratory
Schulte Laboratory
Participate in Our Studies

Dubno Laboratory

Research Focus of the Laboratory

The laboratory of Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D. conducts research focused on human auditory function, with emphasis on the processing of auditory information and the recognition of speech and how these abilities change in adverse listening conditions, with age, and with hearing loss. Current projects related to the effects of cochlear hearing loss are designed to test hypotheses within the framework of the active process of the cochlea (“cochlear amplifier”), which is responsible for many fundamental properties of audition. Current projects related to age-related hearing loss address basic questions related to speech understanding by older adults in everyday listening conditions and the benefit of hearing aids for processing spatial, binaural, and temporal information. This research is supported by grants from NIH/NIDCD, NIH/NCRR, the Deafness Research Foundation, and the Knowles Fund for Hearing Research.

Publications

Colleagues

Jayne B. Ahlstrom, MS
Lois J. Matthews, MS
John H. Mills, Ph.D.
Gayla L. Poling, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
Richard A. Schmiedt, Ph.D.
Xin Wang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Human Auditory Function Laboratory Collaborators

Lisa L. Cunningham
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Mark A. Eckert, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Kelly C. Harris, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Eric W. Healy, Ph.D.
Ohio State University, Department of Speech and Hearing Science 

Michael G. Heinz, Ph.D.
Purdue University, Depts. Biomedical Engineering/Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences 

Larry E. Humes, Ph.D.
Indiana University, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences 

Hainan Lang, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine 

Marjorie R. Leek, Ph.D.
National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland VA Medical Center

Robert H. Margolis, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, Department of Otolaryngology

Ted A. Meyer, M.D., Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Bradley A. Schulte, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Charles S. Watson, Ph.D.
Indiana University, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences/Cognitive Sciences

Eckert Laboratory

Research Focus of the Laboratory

The laboratory of Mark A. Eckert, Ph.D. conducts research focused on understanding the neural basis of individual differences in language and cognitive abilities. In particular, current neuroimaging projects are focused on understanding age-related changes in speech recognition that may stem from changes within the central nervous system, the impact of hearing loss on the central nervous system, and the identification of neural systems that are critical for successful speech training. This research is supported by grants from the NIH/NIDCD, NIH/NCRR, and the Deafness Research Foundation.

Please see our external site for additional information:  Eckertlab.org

Publications

Colleagues

Stefanie Kuchinsky, Ph.D.
Post-doctoral Fellow, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
BA: Brandeis University, Psychology/Linguistics
Ph.D.: University of Illinois, Psychology

Kenny I. Vaden, Jr., Ph.D. 

Collaborators

Jayne Ahlstrom, M.S.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Gary Aston-Jones, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Neurosciences

Bob Dougherty, Ph.D.
Stanford University Department of Psychology

Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Kelly Harris, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

Mark Hurd, Ph.D.
College of Charleston Department of Psychology

Christiana M. Leonard, Ph.D.
University of Florida McKnight Brain Institute 

Vinod Menon, Ph.D.
Stanford University Department of Psychiatry

Chris Rorden, Ph.D.
University of South Carolina Department of Communication Sciences

James Wang, Ph.D.
Clemson University School of Computing

Harris Laboratory

Research Focus of the Laboratory

The primary interest of the Kelly C. Harris, Ph.D. laboratory is in understanding the structure and function of the neural systems underlying age-related changes in auditory processing. In particular, her current research projects focus on exploring the relationship between age-related changes in attention and audition and the impact each system has on auditory temporal processing. To learn more about these systems her lab examines how changes in functional and structural imaging, as well as electrophysiological associations with changes in behavior. This research is supported by grants from the NIH/NIDCD.

Publications

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Lang Laboratory

Research Focus of the Laboratory

The laboratory of Hainan Lang, M.D., Ph.D. conducts research focused on: 1) determining the cellular and molecular mechanisms of auditory nerve degeneration and 2) exploring the possibility of stem cell therapy in sensorineural hearing loss. Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) are the primary afferent neurons that carry auditory information from the sensory cells of the inner ear to the central nervous system. SGN degeneration, often occurring with age or exposure to noise or ototoxic drugs, can cause permanent sensorineural hearing loss. Genetically modified mice and ototoxic damaged models have been used for understanding the particular genes in SGN pathogenesis and potential therapeutic applications. Our recent research on stem cell transplantation is aimed at replacing damaged SGNs, protecting SGNs from apoptosis and promoting functional recovery in several auditory-neuropathy models. Auditory electrophysiology, molecular/cellular biology, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron and confocal microscopy are used in our investigations. Dr. Lang's research is supported in part by funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Publications 

Human Auditory Function Laboratory Collaborators

Lisa L. Cunningham
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Vincent Dammai
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Robin L. Davis
Rutgers University, Center for Collaborative Neuroscience

Judy R. Dubno, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Donna M. Fekete, Ph.D.
Purdue University, Department of Biological Sciences

Kelly C. Harris, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Yiannis Koutalos, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Ophthalmology

Amanda C. LaRue,Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Yongxin Li
Capital University of Medical Science, Beijing Institute of Otolaryngology

Makio Ogawa, M.D., Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Richard A. Schmiedt, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Bradley A. Schulte, Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

G. Yong Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
MUSC Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Qingyin Zheng, M.D.
Case Western Reserve University, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery

Jian Zuo, Ph.D.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Department of Developmental Neurobiology

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Schulte Laboratory 

Research Focus of the Laboratory

The laboratory of Bradley A. Schulte, Ph.D. conducts basic biomedical research aimed at defining the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for generating the unique ionic and electrochemical gradients in the inner ear. Biochemical and histochemical techniques are used to identify and determine the precise cellular distribution of ion transport mediators and their associated regulatory proteins. Emphasis is placed on relating changes in auditory function with alterations in the expression of key proteins promoted by disease, noise-trauma and aging. In vivo and in vitro studies are conducted using mouse and gerbil animal models. Recent work focuses on direct correlational studies of human auditory performance with structural and molecular changes in the human inner ear. This research is supported in part by funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Publications

Participate in Our Studies

The Medical University of South Carolina Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery researchers are conducting studies investigating the effects of aging on hearing and the effects of hearing loss on the ability to understand speech. This research has been funded since 1987 by the National Institutes of Health. If you are interested in participating in our studies, are 18 years or older, and have normal hearing or hearing loss, please call 843-792-7977 for further information or to schedule an initial screening visit. After the initial visit, if you meet the criteria for participation and choose to participate, we will explain the nature of the study and estimate the number of additional visits to the laboratory needed to complete the study. Each visit lasts approximately 1½ to 2½ hours and is scheduled at your convenience. Testing may include making listening judgments, repeating combinations of words, and other measures of hearing. These studies are conducted on the fifth floor (Room 505) of the Walton Research Building on the MUSC campus.

Compensation is provided for your time and parking will be validated.

If you are interested in participating or would like additional information, please call 843-792-7977. Additional study and contact information can be found at the MUSC Heroes website.

These research studies are not a substitute for Medical and Audiological services provided by your ENT physician and audiologist.