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Communication Sciences & Disorders _

Fawen Zhang, PhD, Lab

Research Interests

  • the auditory cortical processing of sounds in adult cochlear implant (CI) users 
  • the auditory cortical plasticity caused by CI experience
  • EEG Neuroimaging
  • the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP) and electrically evoked auditory brainstem response (EABR) in CI users

Laboratory

The Human Auditory Evoked Potential (HAEP) Lab is located in Room G09 on the ground floor of French East Building, in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders of the College of Allied Health. 

The mission of our lab is to conduct research projects to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying sound perception of humans with normal hearing and abnormal hearing such as cochlear implant (CI) users. 

Our long-term goal is to better understand the neural basis of the large variability of CI performance on sound perception for the purpose of improving CI outcome. Additionally, the HAEP lab provides educational opportunities for students at various levels to gain invaluable research experience.  

Research Activity 

The National Institutes of Health's Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders awarded Dr. Fawen Zhang an R15 research grant (2010-2013) to study the temporal properties of auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) in cochlear implant (CI) users. One of the major challenges in CI field is the large variability in CI patients’ speech perception performance. 

Recent studies have shown significant correlations between this variability in speech performance and CI patients’ psychophysically measured temporal processing. Besides these behavioral measures, the temporal properties of neural responses to repeated stimuli provide important information about the auditory system’s processing of temporal cues in sounds. It is unclear how objectively measured neural responses are related to behavioral measures of temporal processing and speech perception. 

The goal of this project is to investigate the temporal properties of AEPs in CI patients. We will compare neurophysiological and behavioral measures of temporal processing and speech perception abilities in CI users.  

This research may lead to future efforts toward improving the temporal representation of sounds in CI users.

Student Research

Students who finished their capstone research in my lab:

  • AuD. (2011-). Melissa Boian. The correlation between Gap detection test and speech perception test results in CI users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders,University of Cincinnati.
  • AuD. (2010-). Dora Murphy. The electrically evoked action potential in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • AuD. (2009-2011). Chelsea Benson. The late auditory evoked potential to music stimuli in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • AuD. (2008-2010). Theresa Hammer. The late auditory evoked potential to speech stimuli in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • AuD. (2008-2010). Holly L. Banks. The cortically generated auditory evoked potentials in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • Undergraduate (2011). Danielle Bronkema. The gap detection performance in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati 
  • Undergraduate (2008). Amanda Gilbert. The cortical binaural interaction in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati 
  • Undergraduate (2008). Dora Murphy. The cortical auditory evoked potentials in cochlear  implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati 
  • Undergraduate (2009). Caitlin Dohlen. Dishabituation of the late auditory evoked potential in humans. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati. Ms Dohlen was selected by the University of Cincinnati Women in Science and Engineering program, which has the goal of engaging women students in activities with faculty and peers to promote their success in the science and engineering professions. 
  • PhD. (2010-). Aniruddha.K.Deshpande. The neural substrates of human N1 peak revealed by standardized low resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA). Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.

Students whose research is ongoing in my lab:

  • Undergraduate. (2012-). Samantha Bayless. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.
  • Undergraduate. (2012-). Cassie Huff. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders,University of Cincinnati.
  • PhD student (2012). Chelsea Benson. Temporal encoding in cochlear implant users. Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati.

Curriculum Vitae (select link to view)

Fawen Zhang, PhD
Fawen Zhang, PhD
Assistant Professor
Phone: 513-558-8513

Contact Us

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
3202 Eden Avenue
P.O. Box 670379
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0379
Phone: 513-558-8502
Fax:  513-558-8500
Email: csd@uc.edu

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