James Madison University

Auditory Perception and Physiology Lab

Focus of Lab

Research in the Auditory Perception and Physiology Lab is focused on how listening abilities change across the adult lifespan.  As people age, they typically have more difficulty understanding speech in the presence of background noise, whether they have hearing loss or not.  Part of this speech-understanding difficulty may be related to changes in the central auditory nervous system.

Our research uses behavioral listening tests (psychoacoustics) paired with physiological measures using electroencephalography (EEG) to better understand how listening abilities and brain activity change across the adult lifespan.  We use EEG to examine the neural representation of sounds.  This approach allows us to examine how the neural representation of sound is related to perception.  In addition, we are also interested in brain plasticity - how perception and brain activity may be improved using auditory training.  The long term goal of our lab is to improve aural rehabilitation of adults with hearing loss.

Current Projects

  • Examining age-related changes in the perception and neural representation of frequency
  • Examining how age affects the neural representation of simple and complex sounds


  • Dr. Christopher G. Clinard, Director
  • Molly Scherer, Au.D. student
  • Alexandra Bove, Au.D. student
  • Nicole Wall, Au.D. student


  • Funding for research support has been provided, in part, from
    • National Organization for Hearing Research foundation 

Lab Alumni

  • Sarah Hodgson, Au.D.
  • Caitlin Cotter, Au.D.
  • Lacey Heckler, Au.D.
  • Daniel Shearer, Au.D.
  • Verleyne Andrews-Rogers, Au.D.
  • Sophia Patrikis, Au.D.