M. Christian Brown

M. Christian Brown

Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery
M. Christian Brown

Dr. Brown's research investigates the descending neural systems in the auditory pathway. Although their functions are poorly understood, these systems allow higher centers in the brain to control the activity of lower centers. Studies are focused on the olivocochlear system, which consists of several groups of brainstem neurons that control activity in the cochlea and the cochlear nucleus. The laboratory also studies motoneurons that innervate the middle-ear muscles and whose action regulates sound transmission through the middle ear. Together, these systems reduce the effects of noise masking and provides protection from the damage caused by high-level sound.

A second major research area is improving the auditory brainstem implant (ABI). The ABI is a neural prosthesis that restores hearing in deaf individuals that are not eligible for the cochlear implant. However, the ABI is not as successful as the cochlear implant because users do not understand speech as well. Research in this area develops improved methods for electrical stimulation and the potential for optogenetic stimulation in a next-generation ABI.

Contact Information

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Eaton Peabody Lab
243 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114
p: 617-573-3875