Texas Auditory Neuroscience Lab: Personnel



Spencer B. Smith, Ph.D., Au.D.

Dr. Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences and the director of the Texas Auditory Neuroscience (TexAN) Lab. He received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and his Au.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Arizona. After finishing his doctoral training, Dr. Smith completed a postdoctoral fellowship in auditory neuroscience at Northwestern University. His research focuses on neural processes, from inner ear to cortex, involved in speech perception in noise. He employs objective (otoacoustic emission and electroencephalography) and behavioral techniques to study relationships between neurophysiological function and perception.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Fan-Yin Cheng, Ph.D.

Fan-Yin Cheng is a postdoctoral research fellow for Texas Auditory Neuroscience Lab (TexAN lab) in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently interested in the subcortical and cortical mechanisms underlying behavioral responses in linguistic contexts. She is investigating how the auditory system encodes successive sounds including speech by using electrophysiological methods.

Graduate Students


Sarah Medina, B.S.

Sarah Medina is a first-year Doctor of Audiology student in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She received her B.S. in Neuroscience and Sociology from Tulane University. Sarah’s research interest includes the assessment of binaural hearing and sound localization in cochlear implant users using electrophysiological measures.

Graduate Student

Lauren Ralston, Au.D.

Lauren completed her Bachelor’s Degree at The University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is currently a fourth year student in the Doctorate of Audiology (Au.D.) program at the University of Texas, and is a second year Ph.D. student in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences. She is currently completing her externship at the Austin Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic where she serves the needs of our Nation's Veterans by providing them with hearing healthcare. Her research interests include the cortical representation of sound, as well as how the brain reorganizes in disorders such as tinnitus, hearing loss, and traumatic brain injury.

Undergraduate Students

Kayla E Maclean

Olaedochim Sharon Obinna

Taylor Franklin


René H. Gifford, Ph.D.

Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University

Beth A. Prieve, Ph.D., CCC-A

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University

Graduate Alumni

Won So, Au.D., Ph.D.

Heather Goodall, Au.D.

Sheri Potter, Au.D.

Erica Eng, Au.D.

Lisa Gold, Au.D.

Can Elaine Xu, Ph.D.

Maansi Desai, Ph.D.

Undergraduate Alumni

Miah Elise Ornelas

Juan Gomez

Marc S Taylor