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Robert Shannon, PhD
Professor of Research Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
JTC 806 W. Adams Boulevard Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 213 764 2825


I am interested in how auditory information is coded in the nervous system. My original research attempted to find common elements in physiological responses and perception of acoustic sound. Since 1977 my research has focused primarily on prosthetic electrical stimulation to restore hearing: cochlear implants, brainstem implants and midbrain implants. My research programs range from the biophysics and psychophysics of electrical stimulation of the auditory system, to speech pattern recognition and the design of signal processing for prosthetic devices. Research on auditory prostheses spans the fields of biomedical engineering, anatomy, physiology, psychophysics, perceptual object formation and pattern recognition. Artificial activation of a sensory system at different levels of processing can reveal the importance of various cues to auditory perception. The comparison of simple and complex perception between normal hearing and prosthetic activation of the cochlea, auditory brainstem and auditory midbrain gives insights into processing, storage and retrieval of auditory information in the nervous system.


Is Birdsong More Like Speech or Music? Trends Cogn Sci. Is Birdsong More Like Speech or Music? Trends Cogn Sci. 2016 Apr; 20(4):245-7. View in: PubMed

Regulatory and funding strategies to develop a safety study of an auditory brainstem implant in young children who are deaf. Ther Innov Regul Sci. 2015 Sep; 49(5):659-665. View in: PubMed

Two Laskers and Counting: Learning From the Past Enables Future Innovations With Central Neural Prostheses. Brain Stimul. 2015 May-Jun; 8(3):439-41. View in: PubMed

Auditory implant research at the House Ear Institute 1989-2013. Hear Res. 2015 Apr; 322:57-66. View in: PubMed

Training improves cochlear implant rate discrimination on a psychophysical task. J Acoust Soc Am. 2014 Jan; 135(1):334-41. View in: PubMed

The development of auditory perception in children after auditory brainstem implantation. Audiol Neurootol. 2014; 19(6):386-94. View in: PubMed

Improving speech perception in noise with current focusing in cochlear implant users. Hear Res. 2013 May; 299:29-36. View in: PubMed

Auditory brainstem implants for neurofibromatosis type 2. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012 Oct; 20(5):353-7. View in: PubMed

Improving virtual channel discrimination in a multi-channel context. Hear Res. 2012 Apr; 286(1-2):19-29. View in: PubMed

Histopathological analysis of a 15-year user of an auditory brainstem implant. Laryngoscope. 2012 Mar; 122(3):645-8. View in: PubMed

Advances in auditory prostheses. Curr Opin Neurol. 2012 Feb; 25(1):61-6. View in: PubMed

Estimated net saving to society from cochlear implantation in infants: a preliminary analysis. Laryngoscope. 2011 Nov; 121(11):2455-60. View in: PubMed

Infants versus older children fitted with cochlear implants: performance over 10 years. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Apr; 75(4):504-9. View in: PubMed

Effect of stimulation rate on cochlear implant users' phoneme, word and sentence recognition in quiet and in noise. Audiol Neurootol. 2011; 16(2):113-23. View in: PubMed

Current focusing sharpens local peaks of excitation in cochlear implant stimulation. Hear Res. 2010 Dec 01; 270(1-2):89-100. View in: PubMed

Complications in auditory brainstem implant surgery in adults and children. Otol Neurotol. 2010 Jun; 31(4):558-64. View in: PubMed

Outcomes in nontumor adults fitted with the auditory brainstem implant: 10 years' experience. Otol Neurotol. 2009 Aug; 30(5):614-8. View in: PubMed

Melodic contour identification and music perception by cochlear implant users. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2009 Jul; 1169:518-33. View in: PubMed

Beyond cochlear implants: awakening the deafened brain. Nat Neurosci. 2009 Jun; 12(6):686-91. View in: PubMed

Progress in restoration of hearing with the auditory brainstem implant. Prog Brain Res. 2009; 175:333-45. View in: PubMed

Audiologic outcomes with the penetrating electrode auditory brainstem implant. Otol Neurotol. 2008 Dec; 29(8):1147-54. View in: PubMed

Auditory brainstem implants. Neurotherapeutics. 2008 Jan; 5(1):128-36. View in: PubMed

Combined effects of frequency compression-expansion and shift on speech recognition. Ear Hear. 2007 Jun; 28(3):277-89. View in: PubMed

The first successful case of hearing produced by electrical stimulation of the human midbrain. Otol Neurotol. 2007 Jan; 28(1):39-43. View in: PubMed

Effects of stimulation mode, level and location on forward-masked excitation patterns in cochlear implant patients. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2006 Mar; 7(1):15-25. View in: PubMed

Frequency transposition around dead regions simulated with a noiseband vocoder. J Acoust Soc Am. 2006 Feb; 119(2):1156-63. View in: PubMed

Effects of electrode design and configuration on channel interactions. Hear Res. 2006 Jan; 211(1-2):33-45. View in: PubMed

Open set speech perception with auditory brainstem implant? Laryngoscope. Open set speech perception with auditory brainstem implant? Laryngoscope. 2005 Nov; 115(11):1974-8. View in: PubMed

Effects of stimulation rate on speech recognition with cochlear implants. Audiol Neurootol. 2005 May-Jun; 10(3):169-84. View in: PubMed

Interactions between cochlear implant electrode insertion depth and frequency-place mapping. J Acoust Soc Am. 2005 Mar; 117(3 Pt 1):1405-16. View in: PubMed

Speech and music have different requirements for spectral resolution. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2005; 70:121-34. View in: PubMed

Frequency-place compression and expansion in cochlear implant listeners. J Acoust Soc Am. 2004 Nov; 116(5):3130-40. View in: PubMed

The number of spectral channels required for speech recognition depends on the difficulty of the listening situation. Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 2004 May; (552):50-4. View in: PubMed

The multichannel auditory brainstem implant: how many electrodes make sense? J Neurosurg. The multichannel auditory brainstem implant: how many electrodes make sense? J Neurosurg. 2004 Jan; 100(1):16-23. View in: PubMed

Speech recognition under conditions of frequency-place compression and expansion. J Acoust Soc Am. 2003 Apr; 113(4 Pt 1):2064-76. View in: PubMed

Use of a multichannel auditory brainstem implant for neurofibromatosis type 2. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2003; 81(1-4):110-4. View in: PubMed

The relative importance of amplitude, temporal, and spectral cues for cochlear implant processor design. Am J Audiol. 2002 Dec; 11(2):124-7. View in: PubMed

Perceptual learning following changes in the frequency-to-electrode assignment with the Nucleus-22 cochlear implant. J Acoust Soc Am. 2002 Oct; 112(4):1664-74. View in: PubMed

Frequency mapping in cochlear implants. Ear Hear. 2002 Aug; 23(4):339-48. View in: PubMed

Holes in hearing. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. 2002 Jun; 3(2):185-99. View in: PubMed

Multichannel auditory brainstem implant: update on performance in 61 patients. J Neurosurg. 2002 Jun; 96(6):1063-71. View in: PubMed

Speech dynamic range and its effect on cochlear implant performance. J Acoust Soc Am. 2002 Jan; 111(1 Pt 1):377-86. View in: PubMed

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