Martin Pienkowski, PhD

Assistant Professor

Martin Pienkowski, PhD


  • BSc, University of Toronto (biophysics)
  • MSc, University of Toronto (biomedical acoustics)
  • PhD, University of Toronto (auditory neuroscience)
  • Postdoctoral, Karolinska Institutet (auditory neuroscience)
  • Postdoctoral, University of Calgary (auditory neuroscience)

Role Salus University:

  • Osborne College of Audiology
    • Professor of auditory neuroscience
    • Research scientist
Research Activities: 

Two distinct projects to launch in the Fall 2012:

  1. Characterizing the long-term changes to the auditory brain (via extracellular neural recordings) and auditory perception (via acoustic startle reflex paradigms) of rats after persistent exposure to non-traumatic, moderate-level noise. This research may have important implications for hearing risks to humans working and/or living in moderately noisy environments at exposure levels that are presently considered acceptable by international standards. Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is pending.
  2. Characterizing the qualities of tinnitus in human subjects, and correlating these qualities with performance on a number of auditory perceptual tasks. This research may have important implications for current theories of the neurophysiologic underpinnings of tinnitus. Funding from the American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is pending.

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  1. Pienkowski, M., Munguia, R., Eggermont, J.J. (2012) Effects of passive, moderate-level sound exposure on the mature auditory cortex: Spectral edges, spectrotemporal density, and real-world noise. Hearing Research (in press).
  2. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2012) Reversible long-term changes in auditory processing in mature auditory cortex in the absence of hearing loss induced by passive, moderate-level sound exposure. Ear and Hearing 33: 305–314.
  3. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2011) Sound frequency representation in primary auditory cortex is level-tolerant for low to moderate level, complex sounds. Journal of Neurophysiology 106: 1016–1027.
  4. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2011) Cortical tonotopic map plasticity and behavior. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 35: 2117–2128.
  5. Jacob, S., Pienkowski, M., Fridberger, A. (2011) The endocochlear potential alters cochlear micromechanics. Biophysical Journal 100: 2586–2594.
  6. Pienkowski, M., Munguia, R., Eggermont, J.J. (2011) Passive exposure of adult cats to bandlimited tone pip ensembles or noise leads to long-term response suppression in auditory cortex. Hearing Research 277: 117–126.
  7. Pienkowski, M., Ulfendahl, M. (2011) Differential effects of salicylate, quinine and furosemide on guinea pig inner and outer hair cell function revealed by the input-output relation of the auditory brainstem response. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology 22: 104–112.
  8. Eggermont, J.J., Munguia, R., Pienkowski, M., Shaw, G. (2011) Comparison of LFP-based and spike-based spectro-temporal receptive fields and cross-correlation in cat primary auditory cortex. PLoS ONE 6: e20046 (16 pages).
  9. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2010) Passive exposure of adult cats to moderate-level tone pip ensembles differentially decreases AI and AII responsiveness in the exposure frequency range. Hearing Research 268: 151–162.
  10. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2010) Nonlinear cross-frequency interactions in primary auditory cor­tex spectrotemporal receptive fields: A Wiener-Volterra analysis. Journal of Computational Neuroscience 28: 285–303.
  11. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2010) Intermittent exposure with moderate-level sound impairs central audi­tory function of mature animals without concomitant hearing loss. Hearing Research 261: 30–35.
  12. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont J.J. (2009) Long-term, partially-reversible reorganization of fre­quency tuning in mature cat primary auditory cortex can be induced by passive exposure to moder­ate-level sounds. Hearing Research 257: 24–40.
  13. Pienkowski, M., Eggermont, J.J. (2009) Effects of adaptation on spectrotemporal receptive fields in primary auditory cortex. Neuroreport 20: 1198–1203.
  14. Chugh, B.P., Lerch, J.P., Yu, L.X., Pienkowski, M., Harrison, R.V., Henkelman, R.M., Sled, J.G. (2009) Meas­urement of cerebral blood volume in mouse brain regions using micro-computed tomography. Neuroimage 47: 1312–1318.
  15. Pienkowski, M., Hagerman, B. (2009) Auditory intensity discrimination as a function of level-rove and tone du­ration in normal-hearing and impaired subjects: The “mid-level hump” revisited. Hearing Research 253: 107–115.
  16. Pienkowski, M., Shaw, G., Eggermont, J.J. (2009) Wiener-Volterra characterization of neurons in primary auditory cortex using Poisson-distributed impulse train inputs. Journal of Neurophysiology 101: 3031–3041.
  17. Noreña, A.J., Gourévitch, B., Pienkowski, M., Shaw, G., Eggermont J.J. (2008) Increasing spectrotemporal sound density reveals an octave-based organization in cat primary auditory cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 28: 8885–8896.
  18. Pienkowski, M., Harrison, R.V. (2005) Tone responses in core versus belt auditory cortex in the developing chinchilla. Journal of Comparative Neurology 492: 101–109.
  19. Pienkowski, M., Harrison, R.V. (2005) Tone frequency maps and receptive fields in the de­vel­op­ing chinchilla audi­tory cortex. Journal of Neurophysiology 93: 454–466.
  20. James, A.L., Harrison, R.V., Pienkowski, M., Dajani, H.R., Mount, R.J. (2005) Dy­namics of real time DPOAE con­tralateral suppression in chinchillas and humans. Interna­tional Jour­nal of Audiology 44: 118–129.
  21. Pienkowski, M., Kunov, H. (2001) Suppression of distortion product oto­acoustic emis­sions and hearing threshold. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 109: 1496–1502.

Academic Fellowships and Awards:

  • Swedish Institute (SI) Guest Fellowship (Postdoctoral)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship (PhD)
  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) (MSc)
  • University of Toronto Open Fellowship (MSc)
  • University of Toronto Silver Medal (BSc)
  • Canada Scholar (BSc)
  • University of Toronto Scholar (BSc)
  • Medal of the Governor General of Canada (high school)