Mark Sayles

Research Interests / Training Areas:

  • Systems neuroscience
  • Brainstem auditory neurophysiology
  • Binaural hearing
  • Sensorineural hearing loss


Mark Sayles is an Assistant Professor at Purdue University, with a joint appointment in Biomedical Engineering and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. He received a B.A. degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 2003. He then completed a joint M.D./Ph.D. program at the University of Cambridge, graduating in 2009. His Ph.D. research focused on neural coding of speech and musical sounds in the mammalian brainstem under realistic acoustic conditions; i.e., listening environments where our ears are challenged by background noise and reverberation. He undertook surgical residency training in the UK, specializing in otorhinolaryngology and head and neck surgical oncology. Mark’s post-doctoral work was in the Department of Neuroscience at the University of Leuven, Belgium, where he evaluated the role of cochlear mechanics in binaural hearing by recording from highly specialized neurons in the superior olivary complex and applying innovative systems-identification techniques to the analysis of neural data. He was a Fulbright post-doctoral fellow at Purdue, working on auditory neural coding following hearing impairment. In 2016, he joined the faculty at Purdue as an Assistant Professor, where his laboratory investigates the relationship between brainstem single-neuron physiology and perception in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. He teaches classes in both SLHS and BME. He is a member of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Society for Neuroscience, and the Acoustical Society of America.

Recent Publications:

Sayles M, Walls MK, Heinz MG (2016). Suppression measured from chinchilla auditory-nerve-fiber responses following noise-induced hearing loss: adaptive-tracking and systems-identification approaches. Adv Exp Med Biol. 894: 285-295.

Sayles M, Stasiak A, Winter IM (2016). Neural segregation of concurrent speech: effects of background noise and reverberation on auditory scene analysis in the ventral cochlear nucleus. Adv Exp Med Biol. 894: 389-397.

Sayles M, Stasiak A, Winter IM (2015). Reverberation impairs brainstem temporal representations of voiced vowel sounds: challenging “periodicity-tagged” segregation of competing speech in rooms. Front Syst Neurosci. 8:248.

Sayles M, Grant DG (2014). Preventing Pharyngo-Cutaneous Fistula in Laryngectomy: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Laryngoscope.124: 1150-1163.

Sayles M, Füllgrabe C, Winter IM (2013). Neurometric amplitude modulation detection threshold in the guinea-pig ventral cochlear nucleus. J Physiol. 591: 3401-3419.

Sayles M, Winter IM (2010). Equivalent rectangular bandwidth of single units in the anaesthetized guinea pig ventral cochlear nucleus. Hear Res. 262: 26-33.

Sayles M, Winter IM (2008). Ambiguous pitch and the temporal representation of inharmonic iterated rippled noise in the ventral cochlear nucleus. J Neurosci. 28: 11925-11938.

Pressnitzer D, Sayles M, Micheyl C, Winter IM (2008). Perceptual organization begins in the auditory periphery. Curr Biol. 18: 1124-1128.

Sayles M, Winter IM (2008). Reverberation challenges the temporal representation of the pitch of complex sounds. Neuron. 58: 789-801.

slhs ms
Assistant Professor

Lyles-Porter Hall, Room 3072
Phone: 765-496-0202


Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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