Healthy and  Impaired Hearing




About the Group

The main themes of the Hearing Research Group are dedicated to providing better hearing health care and prevention, together with improving the inclusion of people with hearing impairment. There are various research activities, including:

  • Age-related hearing impairment and social representation;
  • Model of patient centred care and decision making in Audiology;
  • Music over-exposure and hearing health education;
  • Middle ear mechanisms in pathological conditions using varied and innovative approaches (i.e. clinical measurement vs. theoretical analysis);
  • Music perception and hearing aids.

Our research work is cutting edge in terms of scientific interest, clinical application and social impact.

Group Members

Main Collaborators

  • Yiqing Zheng (Sun Yat-sen University, China)
  • Qiang Li (Tianjing Technology University, China)
  • Vinaya Manchaiah (Lamar University, Texas, USA)
  • John Culling (Cardiff University, UK)
  • Joseph Kei (University of Queensland, Australia)


  • Chinese Audiology Association Research Grant (£89,592.00): Innovative Approaches for Investigating Hearing Sensitivity in Childhood Otitis Media with Effusion: Clinical Investigation vs. Theoretical Analysis, June 2016 - December 2018.
  • Accelerator Fund, Cardiff Metropolitan University (£4270.00), The Effects of Advanced Hearing-aid Features on Music Perception, September, 2015


  • 2014: University of Bristol, Widening Participation Funding. Widening Participation on the Education of Music Exposure and Hearing Protection.
  • 2012 – 2013: Sasakawa Foundation, Golf and hearing disability: innovative approaches to enhance awareness of hearing health in Golf players and public.
  • 2012 – 2013: Oticon Foundation, Attitude towards the uptake of hearing aids during the audiological rehabilitation process: A cross cultural comparison between India, China, Sweden and the UK.
  • 2012: ESRC Festival of Social Science, Hands on Experience of Music Exposure and Hearing Protection.
  • 2011 – 2012: Tianjin Scientific Committee, Follow up study in employability and entrepreneurship for graduates in China. PI: Professor Xin Tong. Deaf College, Tianjin University of Technology, China.
  • 2009 – 2011, British Council PMI2 UK-China China-UK Collaborative Partnerships in Employability and Entrepreneurship. ‘Fast track hearing aids audiologist training project’.
  • 2010 – 2012, Ministry of Higher Education, Malaysia. ‘Towards understanding middle ear mechanism using wideband energy reflectance (WBR). PI: Dr. Rafidah Mazlan. Department of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia. Co-applicant: Fei Zhao, Grant value, 39,500 MYR (approximately £8k).
  • 2008 – 2010, British Council PMI2 Research Co-operation Award, Innovative Approaches Towards Understanding Middle Ear Mechanisms
  • 2009, Benjamin Meaker Fast Track Small Grant Scheme, UOB, to support travel expenses for Dr Brian Fligor, Director of Diagnostic Audiology, Department of Otology and Laryngology,Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, U.S.A.
  • 2008 – 2009, Bristol University Alumni Foundation. Music exposure and hearing health awareness.
  • 2008 – 2009, Sasakawa Foundation. Towards understanding middle ear mechanisms: clinical data vs. theoretic analysis.
  • 2007, Royal Society (Conference Support Scheme). Toward a understanding of middle ear mechanism using otoreflectance: the characteristics of energy reflectance. Attended 4th Middle Ear Research Symposium, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 2006 – 2007, British Academy (Small Grant Scheme). Deaf Graduate into Employment in China: Job Expectation and Satisfaction.
  • 2005 – 2006, British Council – NOW Partnership Programme in Science. Auditory Cognition in Patients with King-Kopetzky Syndrome and Central Auditory Dysfunction.
  • 2005 – 2006, Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) Three-dimensional finite element analysis of the middle ear transfer function and related pathologies.
  • 2004 – 2005, RNID Satisfaction with quality and access to health care for deaf and hard of hearing people in Wales.


Authored book and contributions to edited books (peer-reviewed)

  • Zhao F and Zheng YQ Adult Audiological Rehabilitation. Tianjin People’s Publisher Ltd. Tianjin, China. 300 pages, 2015.
  • Kei J and Zhao F (co-editor). Assessment Of Middle Ear Function In Young Infants, Plural Publishing, Inc. 265 pages, 2011.
  • Zhao F, Meredith R, Wotherspoon N and Rhodes A. Toward a understanding of middle ear mechanism using otoreflectance: the characteristics of energy reflectance. Proceedings of the 4th Symposium on Middle Ear Mechanics and Otology, ed. Huber A and Eiber A. World Scientific Publishers, 2007, pp76-81.
  • Mazzoli M, Kennedy V, Newton V, Zhao F, Stephens D. Phenotype/genotype correlation of autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive non-syndromal hearing impairment. In: Martini A, Mazzoli M, Stephens D, Read A. eds. Definitions, Protocols and Guidelines in Genetic Hearing Impairment. pp 79-141, London: Whurr, 2001.
  • Stephens D, Lind-Granade G, Hatzopoulos S, Zhao F. Audiometric investigation of carriers. In: Martini A, Mazzoli M, Stephens D, Read A. eds. Definitions, Protocols and Guidelines in Genetic Hearing Impairment. pp 33-35, London: Whurr, 2001.
  • Zhao F, Stephens SDG, Meredith R, Valerie Newton. Parameter analyses of Audioscan notches in carriers of genetic hearing loss. In: Stephens D, Read A, Martini A, eds. Developments in Genetic Hearing Impairment I. London: Whurr, pp 60-67, 1998.

Academic Journal Papers (referred)

  • Jiang W, Zhao F, Guderley N, ManchaiahV, (In press) Music listening in relation to recommended daily noise exposure dose and hearing problems using personal listening devices in adolescents and young adults. International Journal of Audiology.
  • Cai YX, Zhao F, ChenYB, Liang MJ, L, Yang HD, Xiong H, Zhang XY, Zheng YQ, (In press) The effect of symmetrical and asymmetrical hearing impairment on the music quality perception. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology and Head & Neck
  • Manchaiah V, Danermark B, Ahmadi T, Tomé D, Zhao F, Li Q, Krishna R, Germundsson P, (2015). Social representation of hearing loss: Cross-cultural study in India, Iran, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10:1-16.
  • Mazlan R, Kei J, Ya CL, Yusof WNHM, Siam L, Zhao F. (2015). Age and gender effects on wideband absorbance in adults with normal outer and middle ear function. J Sp Lang Hear Res., 58(Aug):1377-1386.
  • Zhao F, Manchaiah V, St Claire L, Danermark B , Jones L, Brandreth M, Krishna R & Goodwin R, 2015, Exploring the influence of culture on hearing help-seeking and hearing-aid uptake. Int J Audiol., Jul;54(7):435-43.
  • Cai YX, Zheng YQ, Liang MJ, Zhao F, Yu GZ, Liu Y Chen YB, (2015) Auditory Spatial Discrimination and the Mismatch Negativity Response in Hearing-Impaired Individuals. PLOS ONE, August 25 1-18. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0136299.
  • Zhao F, Stephens SDG , Ishak WS and Meyer-Bisch C (2014). The characteristics of Audioscan and DPOAE measures in tinnitus patients with normal hearing thresholds. Int J Audiol. 53(5):309-17.
  • Li Q, Xia S, Zhao F and Qi J. (2014). Functional changes in people with different hearing status and experiences of using Chinese sign language: an fMRI study. J Commun Disord. 50:51-60.
  • Zhao F and Bardsley B (2014). Real-ear acoustical characteristics of impulse sound generated by golf drivers and the estimated risk to hearing: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 4 e003517.
  • Liang MJ, Zhang X, Chen T, Zheng Y, Zhao F, Yang H, Zhong Z, Zhang Z, Chen S and Chen L (2014). Evaluation of auditory cortical development in the early stages of post cochlear implantation using mismatch negativity measurement. Otol Neurotol. 35(1) e7-14.
  • Cai YX, Zhao F and Zheng YQ (2013). Development and validation of a Chinese music quality rating test. Int J Audiol. 52:587-595.
  • Ishak WS, Zhao F, Rajenderkumar D and Arif M. (2013). Measurement of subtle auditory deficit in tinnitus patients with normal audiometric thresholds using evoked otoacoustic emissions and threshold equalizing noise tests. International Tinnitus Journal.18(1):35-44.
  • Cai YX, Zhao F and Zheng YQ (2013). Mechanisms of music perception and its changes in hearing impaired people. Audiol Med. 11:168-175.
  • Zhao F, French D, Manchaiah V, Zheng YQ, Liang LM and Price S (2012). Music Exposure and Hearing Health Education: Knowledge, Attitude, and Behaviour in Adolescents and Young Adults. Health Education Journal, 71:709-724.
  • Liang MJ, Zhao F, French D and Zheng YQ (2012). The Noise Reduction Effects of Noise Cancelling Headphones in the Presence of Street Noise and Subway Noise. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131:4526-4534.
  • Manchaiah VKC, Stephens D and Zhao F (2012). Communication partner involvement in the audiological enablement/rehabilitation of adults with acquired hearing impairment: An overview. Audiological Medicine, 10:21-30.
  • Manchaiah V and Zhao F (2012) Storytelling in different cultural context: applications to hearing loss public awareness. Journal of Behavioral Health.
  • Manchaiah V, Zhao F, Danesh AA and Duprey R (2011). The genetic basis of Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD). International Journal of Paediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 75:151-158.
  • Wang J, Zhao F & Li YX, Han DM, Gong SS, Zhao SQ, Zhang H (2011). Effect of Anterior Tympanomeatal Angle Blunting on the Middle Ear Transfer Function, Medical Engineering and Physics, 33:1136-1146.
  • Ishak WS, Zhao F, Stephens D, Culling J, Bai J and Meyer-Bisch C (2011). Test-Retest Reliability and Validity of Audioscan & Békésy in Comparison with Pure Tone Audiometry. Audiological Medicine. 9,40-45.
  • Zheng Y, Zhao F, Liang MJ, Bardsley B, Yang HD and Zhang ZG (2011). Toward an Understanding of Auditory Evoked Cortical Event-Related Potentials: Characteristics and Classification. Audiological Medicine. 9,16-25.
  • Zhao F, Manchaiah V, French D and Price S. (2010) Music Exposure and Hearing Disorders: An Overview. International Journal of Audiology 49(1): 54-64.
  • Zhao F, Koike T, Wang J, Sienz J and Meredith R (2009). Finite Element Analysis of the Middle Ear Transfer Functions and Related Pathologies. Medical Engineering and Physics. 30:907-916.
  • Zhao F, Stephens D, Pryce H, Zheng Y and Bahgat D. (2008) Rehabilitative management strategies in patients with King-Kopetzky syndrome. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Audiology. 30(2):119-127.
  • Zhao F, Bai Z and Stephens S. (2008) The relationship between changes in self-rated quality of life after cochlear implantation and changes in individual complaints. Clinical Otolaryngology. 33 (5):427-434.
  • Zhao F, Lowe G and Meredith R. (2007) The characteristics of otoreflectance and its test retest reliability. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech Language and Hearing. 11(1): 1-7. [80% contribution to all aspects of the work]
  • Li Q and Zhao F. (2007) Deaf graduate into employment in China: job expectations. Asia Pacific Journal of Speech Language and Hearing 11(1):9-14.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (2007) A Critical Review of King-Kopetzky Syndrome: Hearing Difficulties, But Normal Hearing? Audiological Medicine. 5:119-124.
  • Zhao F, Stephens D. (2006) Distortion product otoacoustic emissions in patients with King-Kopetzky syndrome. International Journal of Audiology 45:34-39.
  • Culling J, Zhao F and Stephens D. (2005) Development and assessment of reliability of a self-administered hearing test for elderly. International Journal of Audiology. 44:691-700. [Responsible for data collection and data analysis]
  • Zhao F, Rogers M, Stephens D, Harper P (2004) Audiometric investigation in patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Audiological Medicine 2(4): 247-254.
  • Stephens D, Zhao F and Kennedy V. (2003) Is there an association between noise exposure and King Kopetzky Syndrome? Noise Health.5:55-62.
  • Zhao F, Wada H, Koike H, Ohyama K, Kawase T and Stephens D. (2003) Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions in Patients with Middle Ear Disorders. International Journal of Audiology 42:117-131.
  • Keefe DH, Gorga MP, Neely ST, Zhao F, and Vohr BR. (2003) Ear-canal acoustic admittance and reflectance measurements in human neonates: II, Predictions of middle-ear dysfunction and sensorineural hearing. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 113(1):407-422.
  • Keefe DH, Zhao F, Neely ST, and Gorga MP. (2003) Ear-canal acoustic admittance and reflectance effects in human neonates. I, Predictions of otoacoustic emission and auditory brainstem responses. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 113(1):389-406.
  • Zhao F, Stephens D and Day J. (2003) Audiology in Wales. BSA News, 30-32.
  • Rogers M, Zhao F, Stephens D, Harper P. (2002) Absence of hearing impairment in adult onset facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscular Disorders 12:366-370.
  • Zhao F, Wada H, Koike H, Ohyama K, Kawase T and Stephens D (2002) Middle ear dynamic characteristics in patients with otosclerosis. Ear and Hearing 23(2): 150-158.
  • Zhao F, Stephens D, Meyer-Bisch C. (2002) Review: The Audioscan: a high frequency resolution audiometric technique and its clinical applications. Clinical Otolaryngology 27:1-7.
  • Stephens D, Zhao F. (2002) Effectiveness of self-rating measures of auditory activity limtation and participation restriction in patients with hearing impairment. Iranian Audiology 1:33-40.
  • Zhao F, Stephens D. (2000) Subcategories of Patients with King-Kopetzky Syndrome (Obscure Auditory Dysfunction). Br J Audiol 34:241-256.
  • Stephens D and Zhao F. (2000) The role of a family history in King Kopetzky Syndrome. Acta Otolaryngol 120:197-200.
  • Zhao F, Wada H, Koike H, and Stephens D. (2000) Review: The influence of the middle ear disorders on otoacoustic emissions. Clinical Otolaryngology 25:3-8.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D (1999a) Test-retest variability of distortion product otoacoustic emissions. Scand Audiol 28:171-175. [70% contribution to all aspects of the work]
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (1999b) Audioscan test in patients with King-Kopetzky syndrome. Acta Otolaryngol 119:306-310.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (1999c) Audioscan notches in patients with King-Kopetzky syndrome and a family history of hearing impairment. J Audiol Med 8: 101-112.
  • Stephens SDG, Jaworski A, Kerr P and Zhao F. (1998) The use of patient-specific estimates in patients evaluation and rehabilitation. Scand Audiol. 27: (Suppl 49), 61-68.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D (1998) Analysis of Audioscan and DPOAEs in subjects with normal hearing. Audiology 37:335-343.
  • Zhao F, Stephens SDG, Sim SW and Meredith R. (1997) The use of qualitative questionnaires in patients having and being considered for cochlear implant. Clinical Otolaryngology 22(3):254-259.
  • Zhao F, Özçaglar H, Meredith R and Stephens SDG. (1997) Transient evoked otoacoustic emission with contralateral stimulation in King-Kopetzky syndrome. Journal of Audiological Medicine 6(1):36-44.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (1996a) Hearing complaints of patients with King Kopetzky Syndrome. Br J Audiol. 30:397-402.
  • Stephens D and Zhao F. (1996) Hearing impairment-special needs of the elderly. Filia Phoniatra et Logopedica, 48(3):137-142.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (1996b) Review: Clinical assessment of King-Kopetzky syndrome. Indian Journal of Otology 2 (1):4-10.
  • Zhao F and Stephens D. (1996c) The determinants of speech hearing disability in King-Kopetzky syndrome. Scand Audiol. 25:91-96.