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Doctorate Awarded to Hearing Researcher Jennifer Gay

This summer, doctoral degrees were awarded to several candidates who successfully defended their dissertations resulting from research conducted at Northeast Ohio Medical University with NEOMED faculty mentors as part of the cooperative Kent State University/NEOMED Biomedical Sciences program.

Congratulations to Jennifer Gay, who on July 6 became Dr. Gay!

Working with advisor Merri J. Rosen, Ph.D., director of Hearing Research at Northeast Ohio Medical University, Dr. Gay defended a dissertation titled “Prolonged Development of Temporal Processing in Adolescence.”

Dr. Gay explains, “The development of auditory perception extends well into late childhood and adolescence, yet the vast majority of research on this topic has focused on younger children and neglected these older age groups. This work aims to explore the developmental timeline of auditory abilities in both human adolescents and in adult and juvenile gerbils.

“Auditory perceptual abilities of human listeners from late childhood to early adulthood were examined to establish a developmental timeline of auditory skills. Maturation of neural encoding was also examined through a comparison of the activity of auditory cortical neurons in juvenile and adult gerbils in response to sound.

“Taken together, the results of this work establish a prolonged developmental trajectory of temporal processing for both perceptual abilities and neural encoding. The comparison between the human and animal measures elucidated the specific neural circuitry that contributes to auditory perception.”