Bob Shannon, Ph.D.
- 1971 University of Iowa BA Psychology and Mathematics
- 1975 UC San Diego PhD Psychology
- 1977 UC Irvine Postdoc Psychobiology
- USC-Research Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience
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.
The Department is composed of two laboratories: the Auditory Implant Research Laboratory (AIR), and the Auditory Perception Research Laboratory (APL). Both laboratories work with normal hearing, cochlear implant, and brainstem implant subjects, but the focus of each lab is different. The AIR lab contains the ABI project and the development of the next generation of penetrating microelectrodes for future use, as well as experiments on electrode interaction and speech pattern recognition. APL lab projects include the development and technology transfer of the low-cost cochlear implant, the development of a complete model of loudness for acoustic and electric hearing, and mathematical models of central auditory processing.