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PhD Studentship in Auditory Neuroscience - University of Oxford


 PhD Studentship in Auditory Neuroscience

The Oxford Auditory Neuroscience Group based in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics at the University of Oxford is offering a 3 year studentship, which is funded by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People from 1 October 2007.
This studentship, co-supervised by Dr. D.E.H. Hartley (Wellcome Trust Clinician Scientist Fellow) and Prof. A.J. King (Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow), will give the holder an opportunity to work towards a PhD, whilst working in a research group that has an international reputation for the study of the development and plasticity of central auditory processing, based on behavioural and electrophysiological assessments of binaural hearing. The main aim of the RNID's PhD scheme is to provide well trained scientists that will hopefully continue in the hearing research field.

Background to the project: The most pressing issue facing cochlear implant research is no longer making artificial hearing a reality, but rather the development of implants that can more closely reflect the capabilities of the human auditory system. Bilateral cochlear implantation (CI) is a recent innovation that aims to restore binaural hearing and, subsequently, improve cochlear implant performance in terms of understanding speech in noisy environments and sound localization. The overall aims of this study are to i) maximise the understanding of speech-in-noise in bilateral cochlear implant users whilst ii) exploiting the cochlear implant as a unique experimental tool to study the development and plasticity of neural mechanisms underlying the detection of sounds in the presence of background noise. Specifically, we will utilise a behavioural model of bilateral CI, which has recently been developed in our laboratory, to observe the effects of auditory experience, age at onset of hearing loss, and duration of deafness on behavioural and physiological assessments of binaural unmasking.

The studentship will provide an initial stipend of £15,294 p.a. (2006 rate, currently under review) and will cover fees at the home and EU rate.

Enquiries: contact Dr. Doug Hartley (douglas.hartley@xxxxxxxxxxxxx) or Prof. Andrew King (andrew.king@xxxxxxxxxxxxx).