William Shofner

William Shofner

Associate Professor, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Director, Auditory Physiology Lab


  • Postdoctoral, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1983-1985
  • Ph.D., Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983
  • M.S., Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1979
  • A.B., Biology, Indiana University (Northwest Campus), 1977

Research interests

  • Comparative auditory perception and physiology
  • Effects of degraded signals on perception
  • Models of cochlear implants

About William Shofner

Dr. Shofner co-directs the Auditory Physiology Lab with Dr. Robert Withnell. His broad research interests are in the area of comparative auditory science. He is particularly interested in understanding how the physical features of complex sounds are encoded or represented in the auditory nervous system and how these representations are then related to the perceptual attributes of the sound in humans and non-human mammals. Previous research focused on neurophysiology of auditory neurons in the brainstem and behavioral experiments based on operant-conditioning in chinchillas. Current research projects are focused on pitch, speech and timbre perception in human listeners. Dr. Shofner teaches courses in the areas of anatomy and physiology of the auditory system, central auditory neuroscience, and hearing science. He is a fellow in the Acoustical Society of America.

Selected publications

Shofner, W.P. (2017) An evolutionary perspective of cochlear amplification and noise-induced hearing loss. The Hearing Journal. 70(7): 18-20.

Shofner, W.P. (2015) Acoustic analysis of the frequency-dependent coupling between the frog’s ears. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 138: 1623-1626.

Withnell, R.H., Jeng, P.S., Shofner, W.P., Allen, J.B. (2010) In-situ calibrated sounds and hearing sensitivity. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Vol 9(1), 10 pages.

Yost WA, Shofner WP. (2009) Critical bands and critical ratios in animal psychoacoustics: an example using chinchilla data. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 125: 315-23.

Shofner, W.P. (2008) Representation of the spectral dominance region of pitch in the temporal discharge patterns of cochlear nucleus units. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 124: 3038-52.

Shofner, W.P., Yost, W.A. and Whitmer, W.M. (2007) Pitch perception in chinchillas: Stimulus generalization using rippled noise. Journal of Comparative Psychology. 121: 428-439.