Dennis McFadden is the Subject of "Faculty Highlights" in the November 21, 2003 Section of Research Alert, Sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research
Posted: November 21, 2003
"Dr. McFadden has been interested in various aspects of auditory performance--sound localization, masking, adaptation-like effects, and the effects of drugs and intense sound on the auditory system. His more recent work has been in auditory perceptual organization and otoacoustic emissions. He has shown that subjects are better able to discriminate small sensory changes in stimuli that are perceptually organized than in those that are not. To date, the effect has been demonstrated for frequency discrimination, duration discrimination, and with a speech task. Otoacoustic emissions are sounds produced in the inner ear. They are stronger and more numerous in females than in males, and McFadden has been studying the underlying mechanisms. The evidence suggests that prenatal differences in exposure to androgens contributes to the sex difference in otoacoustic emissions -just as it does for other sex differences in the body and the brain. He believes that otoacoustic emissions have the potential to serve as a noninvasive window onto prenatal developmental processes."