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UK Research Studentship in Modelling the Cochlear Origins of Otoacoustic Emissions

A research studentship in modelling the cochlear origins of otoacoustic emissions is available for a student to study for a PhD at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, UK (see http://www.isvr.soton.ac.uk/VACANCIE/ )

The studentship would provide support at standard EPSRC rates (currently £13,000 p.a.) and UK/EU tuition fees for a student to study for a PhD.  The studentship will run for three years and will ideally start in October 2007.

Otoacoustic emissions are the acoustic pressure signals that can be measured in the outer ear as a result of the cochlear amplifiers operating within the inner ear.  They are used clinically as an early test for normal hearing, but also provide a unique method of measuring the response of the cochlear amplifiers in healthy ears, which can be used to test our understanding of their mechanisms.  Previous models of the cochlear response have generally been formulated in the frequency domain, and so the subtle nonlinear interactions between different frequencies in the cochlea amplifier are hard to capture.  A recently-developed state-space model of the cochlear, however, has the potential to accurately model these nonlinear effects, and thus predict, for example, the behaviour of distortion product otoacoustic emissions, DPOAEs, which are widely used to characterise the ear?s nonlinear response. In this case two frequencies, f1 and f2, are used to excite the ear and the response is measured at 2f1-f2, as illustrated below.

As well as modelling the cochlea to predict the otoacoustic responses and compare them with previous measurements, there is also the opportunity to directly measure a variety of these responses in subjects using the facilities of the Hearing and Balance Centre within the ISVR.

Informal enquiries can be made to Professor S J Elliott. +44 (0)2380 592384 sje@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Applicants should send a full curriculum vitae, including the names and addresses of three referees, to Mrs M Z Mew, Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ.( +44 (0)2380 592294)   The closing date is 31st March 2007. Reference No. 0752-07-E.
Please quote the appropriate reference number on your application.