James R. Ison

James Ison

Contact Information

  • Meliora 167
  • Brain & Cognitive Sciences
  • University of Rochester
  • Rochester, NY 14627-0268
  • (585) 275-8461 (office)

Office Hours

By appointment.

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Research Overview

The aim of our research is to understand how the auditory system is able to follow the rapidly changing acoustic signal that characterizes speech, and to determine how age-related changes in temporal acuity may contribute to the problems that elderly listeners have in perceiving speech in noisy environments. Much of the work is based on comparing the changing temporal and spectral abilities of human listeners as they age with those of aging mice, to support physiological studies in mice that may help to understand the central neural bases of presbycusis in humans. We use a combination of methods including sensory judgments in humans and behavioral psychophysics in wild type and in knockout mice, electrophysiological measures of neural activity, and manipulations of neural activity through neurochemical manipulations. The work is conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the departments of Otolaryngology and Neurobiology and Anatomy.

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Selected Publications

Curriculum Vitae

  • Ison, J.R., Allen, P.D. (2012). Deficits in Responding to Brief Noise Offsets in Kcna1 -/- Mice Reveal a Contribution of This Gene to Precise Temporal Processing Seen Previously Only for Stimulus Onsets. JARO 13: 351–358.
  • Allen, P. D., & Ison, J. R. (2012). Kcna1 gene deletion lowers the behavioral sensitivity of mice to small changes in sound location and increases asynchronous brainstem auditory evoked potentials, but does not affect hearing thresholds. J. Neuroscience, 32, 2538-2543.
  • Tremblay, E. M., Zettel, M. L., Ison, J. R., Allen, P. D., & Majewska, A. K. (2012). Effects of aging and sensory loss on glial cells in mouse visual and auditory cortices. Glia Online publicationm DOI 10.1002/glia.22287
  • Bogart, L.J., Levy, A.D., Gladstone, M., Allen, P. D., Zettel, M., Ison, J. R., Luebke, A. E., & Majewska, A. K. (2011) Loss of Prestin Does Not Alter the Development of Auditory Cortical Dendritic Spines. Neural Plast. 2011; 2011: 305621. Published online 2011 May 15. doi:10.1155/2011/305621 PMC3134106
  • Allen, P.D., & Ison, J.R. (2010). Sensitivity of the mouse to changes in azimuthal sound location: effects of angular separation, spectral composition, and sound level on prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex. Beh Neurosci 124(2), 265–277.
  • Ison, J.R., Tremblay, K.L., & Allen, P.D. (2010). Closing the gap between neurobiology and human presbycusis: Behavioral and evoked potential studies of age-related hearing loss in animal models and in humans. In S. Gordon-Salant, R. D. Frisina, A. N. Popper & R. R. Fay (Eds.), The Aging Auditory System (pp. 75-110). New York: Springer.
  • Allen, P.D., Schmuck, N., Ison, J.R., Walton, J.P. (2008) Kv1.1 potassium ion channels do not appear to play a critical role in temporal processing as assessed by gap detection measures. Hear. Res. 246:52-58.
  • Ison, J.R. & Allen, P.D. (2007) Pre- but not post-menopausal female CBA/CaJ mice show less prepulse inhibition than male mice of the same age. Behavioral Brain Research 185: 76-81.
  • Ison, J.R., Allen, P.D. & O'Neill, W.E. (2007) Age-related hearing loss in C57BL/6J mice has both frequency-specific and non-frequency-specific components that produce a hyperacusis-like exaggeration of the acoustic startle reflex. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology JARO 8:539-550
  • Bowen, G.P. & Ison, J.R. (2006). Excision of visual cortex does not affect the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of a light flash prepulse on the acoustic startle reflex in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research, 168(1), 114-119.
    (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6SYP-4HSXVS3-1/2/1a54e1d749df9dbd4265c21728af900e)
  • Ison, J.R., Allen, P.D., Rivoli, P.J., & Moore, J.T.(2005). The behavioral response of mice to gaps in noise depends on its spectral components and its bandwidth. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 117, 3944-3951.
  • Hammond, G.R., Seth, Y., & Ison, J.R. (2004). Concurrent measurement of the detectability of acoustic stimuli and their effect on the excitability of the human blink reflex using a probe-signal method. Hearing Research, 202, 28-34.
  • Klorman, R., Cicchetti, D., Thatcher, J.E., & Ison, J.R. (2003). Acoustic startle in maltreated children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 31., 359-370
  • Bowen, G.P., Lin, D., Taylor, M.K., & Ison, J.R. (2003). Auditory cortex lesions in the rat impair both temporal acuity and noise increment thresholds, revealing a common neural substrate. Cerebral Cortex, 13(8), 815-822.
  • Ison, J.R., & Allen, P.D. (2003). A diminished rate of "physiological decay" at noise offset contributes to age-related changes in temporal acuity in the CBA mouse model of presbycusis. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 114, 522-528.
  • Ison, J.R., & Allen, P.D. (2003). Low-frequency tone pips elicit exaggerated startle reflexes in C57BL/6J mice with hearing loss. Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.
  • Allen, P., Virag, T.M., & Ison, J. (2002) . Humans detect gaps in broadband noise according to effective gap duration without additional cues from abrupt envelope changes. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 112, 2967-2974.
  • Ison, J.R., Castro, J., Allen, P.D., Virag, T.M., & Walton, J.P. (2002). The relative detectability for mice of gaps having different ramp durations at their onset and offset boundaries. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 112, 740-747.
  • Ison, J.R., Virag, T.M., Allen, P.D., & Hammond, G.R. (2002). The attention filter for tones in noise has the same shape and effective bandwidth in the elderly as it has in young listeners. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 112, 238-246.
  • Barsz, K., Ison, J.R., Snell, K.B., & Walton, J.P. (2002). Behavioral and neural measures of auditory temporal acuity in aging humans and mice. Neurobiology of Aging, 23(4), 565-578.
  • Ison, J.R. (2001). The acoustic startle reflex in the mouse: Reflex elicitation and reflect modification by preliminary stimuli. In J.F. Willott (Ed.), Handbook of Mouse Auditory Research: From Behavior to Molecular Biology, Ch. 5, pp. 59-82. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • Ison, J.R., Walton, J.P., Frisina, R.D., & O'Neill, W.E. (2001). Elicitation and inhibition of the startle reflex by acoustic transients: Studies of age-related changes in temporal processing. In J.F. Willott (Ed.), Handbook of Mouse Auditory Research: From Behavior to Molecular Biology, Ch. 25, pp. 381-387. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
  • Frisina, D.R., Frisina, R.D., Snell, K.B., Burkard, R., Walton, J.P., & Ison, J.R. (2000). Auditory temporal acuity during aging. In P.R. Hof and C.V. Mobbs (Eds.), Functional Neurobiology of Aging, Ch. 39, pp. 565-579. San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Ison, J.R. (2000). The development of animal models for the study of presbycusis: Building a behavioral link between perception and physiology. In P.R. Hof and C.V. Mobbs (Eds.), Functional Neurobiology of Aging, Ch. 43, pp. 623-633. San Diego: Academic Press.
  • Ison, J.R., & Bowen, G.P. (2000). Scopolamine reduces sensitivity to auditory gaps in the rat, suggesting a cholinergic contribution to temporal acuity. Hearing Research, 145, 169-176.
  • Ison, J.R., & Agrawal, P. (1998). The effect of spatial separation of signal and noise on masking in the free field, as a function of signal frequency and age in the mouse. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 104, 1689-1695.
  • Ison, J.R., Agrawal, P., Pak, J., & Vaughn, W.J. (1998). Changes in temporal acuity with age and with hearing impairment in the mouse: A study of the acoustic startle reflex and its inhibition by brief decrements in noise level. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 104, 1696-1704.
  • Ison, J.R., Bowen, G.P., & del Cerro, M. (1998). A behavioral study of temporal processing and visual persistence in young and aged rats. Behavioral Neuroscience, 112, 1273-1279.

Conference Presentations

  • Ison, J. R., Oertel, D., & Allen, P. D. (2012) A sensory/behavioral study in genetically engineered C57/129S hybrid mice of the contribution of the HCN1 gene to auditory processing Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 38:#1041
  • Ison, J. R., Kopp-Scheinpflug, C., Paige, G. D., Walker, K. Rübsamen, R., Allen, P. D. Karcz, A., Schatz, D., Tempel, B. L. (2011) Mutations of the genes that encode the Kv1.1 ion channel, Kcna1 in mice, KCNA1 in humans, affect complex auditory processing in both species. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 37:#708
  • Ison, J.R., & Allen, P.D. (2010). Effect in CBA mice of varying signal intensity and age on the inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex produced by a change in sound location along the azimuth. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 36:#862 [PPT]
  • Ison, J.R., Housel, N., Allen, P.D., Kopp-Scheinpflug, C. & Forsythe, I.D. (2009). Antagonists of neural nitric oxide synthase affect auditory behaviors in mice: A study of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) and its inhibition by gaps in noise and a change in sound source location. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 35:#429 [PPT]
  • Ison, J.R., Housel, N. Yee, S., Zenczak, C. Karcz, A., Allen, P.D., & Kopp-Scheinpflug, C. (2008) The Precedence Effect in mice, demonstrated in the inhibitory effect of reversing the order of clicks within pairs from two speakers on the startle reflex. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 34:#865 [PPT]
  • Allen, P.D., Ison, J.R. (2008) Response to sweeping frequency changes in the CBA/CaJ mouse model of presbycusis. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 34:#365
  • Karcz, A., Allen, P.D., Ison, J.R. (2008) Kcna1 null mutant mice with known temporal processing deficits in the auditory brainstem show spatial-location behavioral deficits under both monaural and binaural conditions. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abstr. 34:#877
  • Allen, P.D., Muldrow, A.M., & Ison, J.R. (2007) Manipulation of cholinergic neurotransmission affects auditory signal-in-noise processing in a mouse model of presbycusis. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 33, #67.7.
  • Ison, J.R., Karcz, A. & Allen, P.D. (2007) Development of the ASR and inhibition by changes in sound location in juvenile Kcna1 KO mice. Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 33, #174.27.
  • Allen, P.D., Housel, N., Muldrow, A., Rivoli, P., Yee, S., Ison, J.R. (2007) Auditory temporal processing in the Guinea Pig measured with reflex modification audiometry. Assoc. Res. Otolaryngol. Abs.#822
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2005: Exaggerated Startle Reflex to Low Frequency Tone Bursts. In C57BL/6J Mice with Progressive Hearing Loss: A Longitudinal Aging Study. Ison, J.R., Rivoli, P.J., Moore, J.T., & Allen, P.D. [PPT]
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts: Colony-Wide Analysis of Mouse Auditory Brainstem Responses (I): Maturational Effects in Several Strains of Young Mice. Allen, P., Moore, J., O'Neill, W., Rivoli, P, and Ison, J.
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2005: Colony-Wide Analysis of Mouse Auditory Brainstem Responses (II): Maturational, Gender and Aging Effects in C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ Mice. Rivoli, P, Moore, J., O'Neill, W., Allen, P. & Ison, J. [PPT]
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2005: Cross-spectral channel gap detection in the aging CBA mouse. Moore, J., Allen, P., & Ison, J. [PPT]
  • Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, 2004: Patterns of normal and abnormal auditory behavior in potassium channel knock out mice. Ison, J.R., Allen, P.D., Zettel, M., & Joho, R.H. [PPT]
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2004: Behavioral and single - unit IC responses to partially filled gaps in CBA mice. Barsz, K., J. Ison, Allen, P. & Walton, J. [PPT]
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2004: Individual differences on measures of hearing and temporal processing in the aging CBA mouse. Allen, P.D., Rivoli, P.J., & Ison, J.R.
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts, 2004: Possible interaction between KCNA1 genotype and aging on auditory spatial discrimination in the mouse. Allen, P.D., Rivoli, P.J., & Ison, J.R. [PPT]
  • Association for Research in Otolaryngology Abstracts: Neural representation of amplitude modulated sounds in the cochlear nucleus of mice lacking the Kv1.1 potassium channel. Schmuck, N., Allen, P., Ison, J., & Walton, J.
  • The Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 2003: Age-Related Decrements in the Integrative Action of the Auditory Nervous System Seen in the Acoustic Startle Reflex of the CBA Mouse. James R. Ison, Paul D. Allen, Jordan Bell, Catherine A. Moore and Carolyn M. Tyler. [PDF] [Powerpoint]
  • The Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 2003: Minimum Audible Angle Measured in Young and Old CBA Mice Using Prepulse Inhibition of Startle. Paul D. Allen, Jordan Bell, Navin Dargani, Catherine A. Moore, Carolyn M. Tyler and James R. Ison. [PDF] [Powerpoint]
  • The Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, 2002: LATENCY AND AMPLITUDE DIFFERENCES IN ABR WAVE PATTERNS OF KCNA1 NULL-MUTANT AND WILD-TYPE MICE. James R. Ison, Paul D. Allen, Joseph P. Walton, William E. O'Neill and William J. Bowers. [PDF]
  • The Association for Research in Otolaryngology, 2002: NORMAL THRESHOLD AND SUPRATHRESHOLD ABR AND ASR RESPONSES TO ACOUSTIC ONSETS IN KCNA1 KNOCKOUT MICE, BUT A REDUCED RESPONSE TO OFFSETS. J.R. Ison, P.D. Allen, J.P. Walton, W.J. Bowers, & R.D. Frisina. [PDF] [PPT]

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Research Collaborators

  • Paul D. Allen, Research Assistant Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy, University of Rochester
  • Robert D. Frisina, Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Rochester
  • William E. O'Neill, Associate Professor, Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy, University of Rochester
  • Joseph P. Walton, Associate Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Rochester

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Research Support

This research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (National Institute for Aging) and The Schmitt Foundation on Integrative Brain Research.

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