Faculty Profile

Dr. Mitchell Steinschneider, M.D.,  Ph.D.

Mitchell Steinschneider, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, The Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology (Child Neurology)

Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Areas of Research: auditory cortex; intracranial electrophysiology; humans; non-human primates; speech; language; complex sound processing

Professional Interests

The goal of my research is to delineate the multiple fields of auditory and auditory-related cortex, identify their functional connectivity, and clarify the roles that each of these regions play in the neural processing of speech and other complex hearing phenomena. The three arms of my research career, coupled to my clinical career arms, make me ideally suited to contribute to this academic endeavor. Pertaining to the first arm, I was among the first investigators to rigorously examine auditory cortical mechanisms of speech processing in an animal model. Previously, it had been thought that animals would make poor models for this uniquely human process. My colleagues and I demonstrated that auditory cortical activity could explain many of features of speech processing, such as the neural events associated with the categorical representation of the voice onset time parameter, in the non-human primate model. This line of research has expanded over the years to address many of the key issues in auditory neuroscience, including clarifying neural mechanisms underlying auditory scene analysis, musical consonance and dissonance, pitch, and the mismatch negativity component of the human auditory evoked potential. We have also been among the first to demonstrate the close correspondence between monkey auditory cortical activity and that recorded directly from the human auditory cortex using intracranial electrodes. While I have retired from this research arm to increase my role on this project and pursue my mandate to help lead the new program of intracranial recordings in children at U Iowa, my animal research background helps ground this project in tenets of basic auditory cortical physiology.

The second arm of my research has been as co-investigator on this long-standing project. Working with the University of Iowa investigative team, I have been a major contributor to their intracranial studies that have helped delineate fundamental features of human auditory cortical physiology. In the last several years, working with Dr. Nourski as co-first author on multiple papers, we have identified the relative modulations of core and non-core auditory cortex by attention, and the role of these fields and auditory-related cortex including the middle temporal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, and prefrontal cortex in word object formation and selection and in predictive coding mechanisms.

The third arm of my research, in collaboration with Dr. Elyse Sussman, and more recently, Dr. Monica Wagner, has focused on clarifying the maturation of cortical auditory evoked potentials and the effects of language experience on cortical speech processing. Finally, my 30 years of clinical experience in child neurology and clinical electrophysiology has made me keenly aware of multiple types of developmental language disorders and normal and aberrant features of the electroencephalogram. These experiences allow me to frame research questions in a translationally relevant way.

Selected Publications

Steinschneider, M., & Fishman, Y.I. (2011). Enhanced physiologic discriminability of stop consonants with prolonged formant transitions in awake monkeys based on the tonotopic organization of primary auditory cortex. Hearing Research, 271, 103-114. PMCID: PMC2945626

Steinschneider, M., Nourski, K., Kawasaki, H., Oya, H., Brugge, J.F., & Howard, M.A. III. (2011). Intracranial study of speech-elicited activity on the human posterolateral superior temporal gyrus. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 2332-2347. PMCID: PMC3169661

Steinschneider, M., Nourski, K.V., & Fishman, Y.I. (2013). Representation of speech in human auditory cortex: Is it special? Hearing Research, 305, 57-73. Invited Paper for Special Issue: Communication Sounds and the Brain: New Directions and Perspectives. PMCID: PMC3818517.

Fishman, Y.I., Micheyl, C., & Steinschneider, M. (2012). Neural mechanisms of rhythmic masking release in monkey primary auditory cortex: Implications for models of auditory scene analysis. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107, 2366-2382. PMCID: PMC3362241

Fishman, Y.I., Micheyl, C., & Steinschneider, M. (2014). Neural representation of concurrent harmonic sounds in monkey primary auditory cortex: Implications for models of auditory scene analysis. Journal of Neuroscience, 34, 12425-12443. PMICD: PMC4160777.

Fishman, Y.I., Kim, M., Steinschneider, M. (2017). A Crucial Test of the Population Separation Model of Auditory Stream Segregation in Macaque Primary Auditory Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience, 37 10645-10655. PMID: 28954867.

Nourski, K.V., Steinschneider, M., Rhone, A.E. Electrocorticographic activation within human auditory cortex during dialog-based language and cognitive testing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2016) May 4;10:20. PMID: 27199720. K.V.N. and M.S. contributed equally to this work.

Nourski, K.V., Steinschneider, M., Rhone, A.E., Howard, M.A. Intracranial electrophysiology of auditory selective attention associated with speech classification tasks. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience (2017) Jan 10:691. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2016.00691 K.V.N. and M.S. contributed equally to this work.

Nourski, K.V., Steinschneider, M., Rhone, A.E., Kawasaki, H., Todd, M.M., Howard, M.A., Banks, M.I. Processing of auditory novelty across the cortical hierarchy: An intracranial electrophysiology study. NeuroImage 183 (2018) 412-424. PMID: 30114466.

Sussman, E., Steinschneider, M., Gumenyuk, V., Grushko, J., & Lawson, K. (2008). The maturation of human evoked brain potentials to sounds presented at different stimulus rates. Hearing Research, 236, 61-79. PMCID: PMC2567844

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue , Room 322
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.4115

Research Information