William Shofner

William Shofner

Associate Professor, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences

Director of Undergraduate Studies


  • 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

  • Neural coding underlying pitch and timbre
  • Comparative auditory perception and physiology
  • Effects of degraded signals on perception

About William Shofner

Dr. Shofner shares the SLHS Hearing Laboratories with Drs. Jennifer Lentz and Gavin Bidelman. 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. More recent research projects have 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.

Dr. Shofner is currently not accepting new graduate students.

Selected publications

Shofner, W.P. (2023) Cochlear tuning and the peripheral representation of harmonic sounds in mammals. Journal of Comparative Physiology A, 209: 145-169. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00359-022-01560-3

Shofner, W. P., Yacko, N., and Bowdrie, K. (2019). Perception of Degraded Speech by Chinchillas (Chinchilla laniger): Word-Level Stimulus Generalization. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 133(3): 326-339.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/com0000165

Shofner, W.P., Morris, H. and Mills, M. (2018) Perception of noise-vocoded tone complexes: A time domain analysis based on an auditory filterbank model. Hearing Research, 367: 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2018.07.003

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

Shofner, W.P. (2014) Perception of degraded speech sounds differs in chinchilla and human listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 135: 2065-2077.

Shofner, W.P. and Chaney, M. (2013) Processing pitch in a non-human mammal (Chinchilla laniger).  Journal of Comparative Psychology, 127: 142-153.