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Human Auditory Electrophysiology Lab


The Human Auditory Electrophysiology lab conducts many research projects spanning multiple areas of interest. Our main goals are to improve amplification outcomes and optimize intervention and habilitation strategies for individual listeners with hearing loss. In one line of research, we are investigating how electrical stimulation is encoded and processed in patients with auditory brainstem implants (ABIs). In the second line of research, we are evaluating aging effects on cochlear implant (CI) outcomes. In the third line of research, we are studying neural encoding of auditory stimulation and its association with auditory perception and speech perception in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD). Our collaborators include Dr. Oliver Adunka at the Ohio State University, Dr. Marlan R. Hansen at The University of Iowa, Dr. Daniel J. Lee at Howard Medical School, Dr. Douglas P. Sladen at Mayo Clinic, Drs. J. Thomas Roland, Jr., Susan Waltzman and Mario Svirsky at NYU Medical Center, and Dr. Holly F.B. Teagle at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


The Human Auditory Electrophysiology Laboratory is located on the 2nd floor of BTNRH and is equipped with an electrically shielded sound room, a 64-channel BrainVision ERP system, two networked desktop computers with USB-based external sound cards, two loudspeakers with build-in amplifiers for audio testing, research interfaces designed to provide stimulus control for experiments with cochlear implants (Cochlear Corporation and Advanced Bionics devices), a TV with built-in DVD player and a recliner for subject testing. In addition, sound level meters, “Implants-in-a-box”, implant output-loading circuits, an oscilloscope, etc. are available for calibration of acoustic and electric stimuli. Additional equipment includes an iPad air and a large selection of DVDs for subjects to watch during physiological testing.

Staff and Contact Information

The Human Auditory Electrophysiology Lab is directed by Dr. Shuman He, Ph.D., 402-498-6674, Additional lab staff includes a research assistant: Tyler McFayden, B.S., 402-498-6546,

Summary of Research Program

For Clinician and Scientists

Neural Encoding and Auditory Perception in ABI Users

The ABI is designed to be placed into the lateral recess of the fourth ventricle and to directly stimulate the ventral cochlear nucleus (CN) in the auditory brainstem. The programming process in patients with ABIs is complicated and can be challenging and the ABI outcomes are difficult to predict for individual patients. The goal of this study is to evaluate the association between subjective perception and electrophysiological measures of electrically evoked auditory event-related potentials (eERPs) in adult ABI users.

Aging Effects on CI Outcomes

Difficulties understanding speech, especially in noise, are among the most common complaints in older listeners. Perception of speech depends on a number of factors including: 1) the responsiveness of the peripheral auditory system, 2) the status of the central auditory system (CAS), and 3) higher-order cognitive functions. The natural process of aging can have detrimental effects on all of these processes/functions. The goal of this study is to better understand the contributions of peripheral vs. central factors to age-related speech perception deficits in elderly CI users.

Auditory Electrophysiology in Children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD)

Children with ANSD present a challenge for early intervention and habilitation because of the diversity of the disorder and the current lack of robust indicators to guide in management of this population. The goal of this study is to better understand the neural encoding of auditory stimulation (acoustic and electrical) at different level of the auditory system and its association with auditory perception and speech perception in this patient population.


Our lab studies how auditory nerves and brains process the sound that we hear on daily basis and how this affects the listener’s ability of understanding speech in quiet and in noise. We use both simple and complex sounds presented in quiet and in noise for our studies. In one part of the study, we will ask adult listeners to make decisions based on the pitch, loudness, timing differences of sounds that they hear. For children who are able to provide feedbacks, we will ask them to decide whether the sound they hear is comfortable and rate how loud the sound is if they can. We will also ask these listeners to repeat words and/or sentences that are presented to their ears in quiet and in noise. Completing tasks that evaluate cognitive functions may be required for some adult listeners. For the other parts of the study, neural responses will be recorded while listeners sit in a comfortable chair playing with iPad, reading or watch a silent movie with captions. Participants’ time and efforts will be compensated. Additionally, if travel from long distance or overnight accommodations is required, the HAEL will reimburse these costs.


Our work is currently funded by NIH.

Research Study Participation

If you are interested in participating in a Research Study with the Boys Town National Research Hospital, please fill out the following form.

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By checking this box, I agree to have my name and/or my children’s names added to the Boys Town National Research Hospital volunteer database. This includes the information above, any hearing test results and cochlear implant information obtained by the Boys Town National Research Hospital staff. I cannot agree on behalf of any other adults in my family 19 years or older. I understand that I may refuse to participate in any study and that I may remove my name (or my children’s names) from the database at any time. There is no penalty for non-participation or withdrawal. My refusal will not affect in any way the services I receive now or in the future from Boys Town Hospital or any associated clinics.


Recent Publications

He, S., Abbas, P.J., Grose, J.H., Teagle, H.F.B., and Doyle, D.V. (2015). Temporal response properties of the auditory nerve in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder and children with sensorineural hearing loss. Ear and Hearing, (Accepted).

He, S., Teagle, H.F.B., Ewend, M., Henderson, L., and Buchman, C.A. (2015). The electrically evoked cortical auditory event-related potential in children with auditory brainstem implant. Ear and Hearing, 36, 377-379.

He, S., Grose, J.H., Teagle, H.F.B., Woodard, J., Park, L.R., Hatch, D.R., Roush, P., and Buchman, C.A. (2015). Acoustically-evoked auditory change complex in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder: a potential objective tool for identifying cochlear implant candidates. Ear and Hearing, 36, 289-301.

He, S., Grose, J.H., Teagle, H.F.B., and Buchman, C.A. (2014). Objective measures of electrode discrimination with electrically-evoked auditory change complex and speech perception abilities in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum Disorder. Ear and Hearing, 35, e63-74.

He, S., Grose, J.H., Teagle, H.F.B., Woodard, J., Park, L.R., Hatch, D.R., and Buchman, C.A. (2013). Gap detection measured with electrically evoked auditory event-related potentials and speech perception abilities in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Ear and Hearing, 34, 733-744.

He, S., Teagle, H.F.B., Roush, P., Grose, J.H., Buchman, C.A. (2013). Objective hearing threshold estimation in children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. Laryngoscope, 123, 2859-2861.

Buss, E., He, S., Grose, J.H., Hall, J.W. (2013). The monaural temporal window based on masking period pattern data in school-aged children and adults. Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 133, 1586-1597.

Choudhury, B., Fitzpatrick, D.C., Buchman, C.A., Wei, B.P., Dillon, M.T., He, S., and Adunka, O.F. (2012). Intraoperative round window recordings to acoustic stimuli from cochlear implant patients. Otology & Neurotology, 33, 1507-1515.

He, S., Grose, J.H., Hang, A.X.Z., and Buchman, C.A. (2012). Cochlear implant-evoked cortical activation in children with cochlear nerve deficiency. Otology & Neurotology, 33, 1188-1196.

He, S., Grose, J.H., and Buchman, C.A. (2012). Auditory discrimination: the relationship between psychophysical and electrophysiological measures. International Journal of Audiology, 51, 771-782.

He, S., Brown, C.J., and Abbas, P.J. (2012). Preliminary results of the relation between binaural interaction component of electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses and interaural pitch comparison in bilateral cochlear implant recipients. Ear and Hearing, 33: 57-68.

He, S., Brown, C.J. and Abbas P.J. (2010). Effects of electrode pairing and stimulation level on the electrically evoked binaural interaction component of the auditory brain stem response. Ear and Hearing, 31: 457-470.

He, S., Buss, E., and Hall, J.W. (2010). Monaural temporally selective listening in children. . Journal of the Acoustic Society of America, 127: 3643-3653.

​​Brown, C.J., Etler, C., He, S., O’Brien, S., Kim, J.R., Dhuldhoya, A., and Abbas, J.P. (2008). The electrically evoked auditory change complex: preliminary results from Nucleus cochlear implant users. Ear and Hearing, 29: 704-717.​​​​​​