National Centre for Audiology

Electrophysiology

The electrophysiology laboratory is concerned with objective measurements of auditory function. These include the measurement of sounds generated by the ear, or otoacoustic emissions, and the measurement of the electrical activity of the auditory nervous system, or auditory evoked potentials.

These are useful tools for detecting and describing hearing problems in special populations who cannot participate in behavioural tests, such as newborns. They are also valuable in expanding our basic understanding of the function of the auditory system. The relationship between these electrophysiological correlates and the behavioral performance of listeners is an area of interest for the laboratory. Additionally, the laboratory studies the maintenance of speech through auditory feedback. While speaking, individuals monitor their own voice and use the acoustic information to maintain accurate production. Real-time acoustic perturbations are used to change the sound of an individual's voice, presented over headphones, as they are speaking.