Merri Rosen, Ph.D.
- Associate Professor of Neurobiology
- Director, Hearing Research Group
Throughout my career, I have striven to understand how neural circuits allow reliable auditory perception. In my graduate work at Duke University, I studied songbirds, whose ability to sing is essential for reproductive success. I used in vivo intracellular recordings to uncover mechanisms underlying neural selectivity for song. During a postdoc at Cornell University, I worked with an insect whose reproductive success relies on locating chirping crickets (on which to deposit eggs) while avoiding predation by calling bats. I measured neural and behavioral responses allowing the fly to make this distinction. For my postdoc at New York University, I began work which I continue in my own lab: I study Mongolian gerbils, which communicate at frequencies similar to those in human speech. We research how early auditory experience changes neural circuitry to allow accurate auditory perception. My research on neural mechanisms underlying perceptual effects of hearing loss is funded by NIH.
- Ph.D., Neurobiology, Duke University, 2002
- M.S., Neuroscience, Brandeis University, 1995
- B.A. with Honors, Psychology/Music, Wesleyan University, 1990
- Medical Neuroscience (Medical and Graduate Students)
- Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology (Graduate Students)
- Current Research in Auditory Neurobiology (Graduate Students)
- Topics in Statistical and Data Analysis (Graduate Students)
Academic & Professional Activities
- President, Northeast Ohio Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience
- Vice-Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
AREA OF EXPERTISE/RESEARCH INTERESTS
Early life experiences have lasting effects on neural circuits, which can influence a wide range of abilities and characteristics. Childhood hearing problems, particularly in stressful environments, affect our ability to optimally understand speech later in life. My research applies neurophysiological, neurochemical, behavioral, and quantitative techniques in an animal model to understand how developmental hearing loss and stress change the neural circuits necessary for auditory perception. This work lets us identify interventions to remediate perceptual deficits arising from these early detrimental experiences.
- NIH/NIDCD R01 DC013314, Principal Investigator. Auditory processing deficits in early-onset conductive hearing loss. 4/01/14 – 7/31/2025
- NIH/NIDCD R01DC019126, Co-Principal Investigator. Cortical processing of informational masking. 8/1/2020 – 7/31/2025
- Akron Children’s Hospital Foundation Research Grant, Co-Principal Investigator. Factors affecting long-term speech and hearing outcomes for children with chronic middle ear infections. 9/01/19 – 8/31/22
Ye Y, Ihlefeld A and Rosen MJ (2021). Conductive hearing loss during development does not appreciably alter the sharpness of cochlear tuning. Scientific Reports, 11(1):3955.
Gay JD, Rosen MJ and Huyck JJ (2020). Effects of gap position on perceptual gap detection across late childhood and adolescence. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 21(3): 243-258.
Mattingly MM, Donell BM and Rosen MJ (2018). Late maturation of backward masking in auditory cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology, 120(4): 1558-1578.
Green DB, Mattingly MM, Ye Y, Gay JD, Rosen MJ (2017). Brief stimulus exposure fully remediates temporal processing deficits induced by early hearing loss. Journal of Neuroscience, 37(32): 7759-7771.
Green DB, Ohlemacher J and Rosen MJ (2016). Benefits of stimulus exposure: Developmental learning independent of task performance. Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience, 10(18).