[pronounced “CSD-two lab”]

Focus of Lab

Collaborative, inter-professional efforts in separate human and animal laboratories investigate environmental and genetic influences on the normal and abnormal development of sensory processing. Current research involves an animal model of autism as well as studies of complex auditory processing in human volunteers after ear surgery and those with ADHD and ASD.

Animal Models of Genetic/Environmental Influences on Hearing

Collaborating with Dr. Mark Gabriele in the JMU biology department, we are using a mouse model to investigate the roles of specific signaling proteins in the development of multi-sensory perceptions. We believe this to be a useful model of autism. See https://www.breezejmu.org/news/jmu-researchers-look-to-explore-autism-causes-with-grant/article_bd9f4ac6-1edb-11eb-8cb8-9fc34d28b169.html.

Human Studies of Sounds that are Distracting

Congenital Aural AtresiaCollaborating with Dr. Bradley Kesser at the University of Virginia, we are investigating how people born without an external auditory meatus adapt to the novel input from their ‘new ear’ after surgical correction of their birth defect. We have developed a ‘deployable’ stereo-hearing test system that packs up much like a picnic basket and is mailed to participants’ homes. We measure the many advantages of hearing with two ears, including sound localization and better understanding of speech in noise. We showed that this remote testing was equivalent to supervised tests in the clinic, and so we join the trend to tele-health (actually ‘tele-research’). At JMU we are attempting to develop a measure of distractibility; the extent to which various forms of background noise interfere with auditory ‘focus’.  Anyone interested in participating as an ‘experimental’ (ASD, ADHD, hearing loss in one ear, or someone with or without musical training) or control subject is invited to contact graylc@jmu.edu.

Computational Models of Disease Spread

An innovative method, called ‘constructed cartography,’ makes a ‘map’ of our body as ‘seen’ by the tumor.  It involves measures of ‘separations’ (conversely proximities) that are not physical distances. COVID has temporarily halted collaborations with surgeons at the Tata Memorial Cancer Centre in Mumbai, India, to analyze different patterns of metastases from oral cancers (the most common neoplasm in India) and breast cancers (very rare in India). Anyone who might go to Mumbai and would like to help is welcome to contact graylc@jmu.edu.


Director: Lincoln Gray

Other Faculty:

  • Mark Gabriele, Ph.D, JMU Biology
  • Bradley Kesser, M.D., UVa Department of Otolaryngology
  • Yingjiu Nie, Ph.D., JMU CSD


  • Reese Altizer, CSD undergraduate
  • Danielle Bates, CSD undergraduate
  • Megan Bedford, CSD undergraduate
  • Michelle Besser, Au.D. graduate student
  • Abigail Conner, CSD undergraduate
  • Erin Davis, CSD undergraduate
  • Erin Davisson, CSD undergraduate
  • Becky Hales, AuD graduate student
  • Lynnsey Hamilton, CSD undergraduate
  • Trish Hoang, CSD undergraduate
  • Kate Hobbs, AuD graduate student
  • Allie Hoffman, BIO undergraduate
  • Bailey Kramarik, CSD undergraduate
  • Rachel Lloyd, CSD undergraduate
  • Seth Shelton, BIO undergraduate
  • Julia Sullivan, CSD undergraduate
  • Maddelina Trezza, CSD undergraduate
  • Christa Van Geluwe, CSD undergraduate

Some recently graduated students who worked in the labs:

  • Claire Alix, BA, CSD major. 2020
  • Megan Crouse, AuD 2021
  • Parker Davis, CSD undergraduate
  • Elizabeth Surface, AuD 2021
  • Madison Frederick, BA with distinction, 2021, CSD major

Past Collaborators:

  • Jennifer Mundorff, AuD, Veterans Administration Hospital, Salem VA Chris Clinard, AuD/PhD, JMU CSD
  • Suzanne Baker and Daniel Holt, Ph.D. JMU Psychology
  • Ragendra Badwe, Anil D’Cruz, Shalaka Joshi, M.D. Tata Memorial Cancer Centre, Mumbai

Current Projects in the lab; sources of funding

  • Co-Investigator. “Role of Microglia in Sculpting Multisensory Midbrain Circuits, NIH R15 , 2020-2023 ($423,678) see https://www.jmu.edu/news/2020/10/21-gabriele-gray-nih-grant.shtml
  • Madison Trust Awards: “To train our service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injury to avoid distractibility due to normal background sounds” and “Toward a new hearing test and training for central auditory processing disorders and distractibility by background sounds: when listeners miss the forest for the trees, (with R. Nagel, B. Kesser; D. Bernstein) $13,730, 2015-present.

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