Department of Psychology

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Sandra McFadden , Ph.D.

159 Waggoner Hall
Work: 309-298-1593
Fax: 309-298-2179


Additional Information


Dr. McFadden earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology/Neuroscience and Behavior from Northern Illinois University. Her mentor at NIU was Dr. Jim Willott, a pioneer in the use of mice to study age-related hearing loss. Her master’s thesis was titled, “Responses of inferior colliculus neurons in young adult C57BL/6J mice as a function of stimulus azimuth,” and her dissertation was titled, “Hearing in a noisy environment: Effects of noise location and sensorineural hearing loss on the responses of inferior colliculus neurons in C57BL/6J mice.” After graduation, Dr. McFadden completed a 2-year NIH-sponsored postdoctoral fellowship in the Developmental Auditory Physiology Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, NE.


Dr. McFadden has taught a variety of undergraduate courses (Psy 100 Introduction to Psychology, Psy 223 Research in Psychology I: Statistical Methods and Design, Psy 343 Physiological Psychology, Psy 344 Perception, Psy 427 Health Psychology) and graduate courses (Psy 550 Current Research in Psychology Seminar, Psy 592 Child Neuropsychology, Psy 600 Brain and Behavior Seminar). She particularly enjoys teaching the Physiological Psychology and Perception courses.


Dr. McFadden’s neuroscience research explores brain-behavior relationships, with a focus on auditory neurophysiology and perception. Diverse methodologies are employed with both human and rodent subjects, ranging from measurements of simple behaviors (e.g., high-frequency vocalizations, acoustic startle responses and prepulse inhibition) to electrophysiological measurements of brain activity (e.g., event-related potentials and auditory brainstem responses).

Recent Scholarly Activities:

Kiebel, L.E., Sunderman, M.G., Leonhard, J.R., & McFadden, S.L. (2012). Measurement of cortical auditory event-related potentials in conscious CBA/CaJ mice. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science conference, Chicago, May 27, 2012 (abstract accepted).

Hamlet, W., McFadden, S. L., Forde, M. J., Morgan, R. E., Sunderman, M. G., Longenecker, R. J., & Lu, Y. (2011). The effects of N,N-Diisopropyltryptamine (DiPT) on auditory perception in mice.Society for Neuroscience, November 2011 Meeting Abstract.

McFadden, S.L., Zulas, A.M., & Morgan, R.E. (2010). Age-dependent effects of modafinil on acoustic startle and prepulse inhibition in rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 208, 118-123.

Lurquin, J.H., Omura, M., Harbke, C.R., McFadden, S.L., & Kelly, K.M. (2010). Electrophysiological correlates of Stroop interference following prior acts of self-control. Poster presented at Association for Psychological Science conference, Boston, May 27, 2010.

Hamlet, W., McFadden, S., Morgan, R., & Vaught, A. (2010). The effect of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) on anxiety in the rat. Presentation at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Neurobehavioral Teratology Society, Louisville, KY, June 27,2010.

El-Badry, M.M., & McFadden, S.L. (2009). Evaluation of inner hair cell and nerve fiber loss as sufficient pathologies underlying auditory neuropathy. Hearing Research 255, 84-90.

McFadden, S.L., & Marrs, V.I. (2009). Protection against noise-induced hearing loss by dietary antioxidants. Midwestern Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, May 4.

El-Badry, M.M., & McFadden, S.L. (2007). Physiological correlates of progressive sensorineural degeneration in the carboplatin-treated chinchilla. Brain Research 1134, 122-130.

El-Badry, M.M., Ding, D., McFadden, S.L., & Eddins, A.C. (2007). Physiological effects of auditory nerve demyelination in chinchillas. European Journal of Neuroscience 25, 1437-1446.

McFadden, S.L. (2007). Biochemical bases of hearing. In: K. Campbell (Ed.), Pharmacology and Ototoxicity for Audiologists. New York: Thomson Delmar Learning, pp. 86-123.

McFadden, S.L., & Willott, J.F. (2007). Interactions between noise exposure and aging in the peripheral and central auditory system—animal studies. In: L. Luxon & D. Prasher (Eds.), Noise and Its Effects. West Susex, England: John Wiley & Son Ltd.

Keller, W.D., Tillery, K.L., & McFadden, S.L. (2006). Auditory processing disorders in children diagnosed with nonverbal learning disability. American Journal of Audiology 15, 108-113.