Dr Julia Wunderlich is a Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Bionics Institute and Honorary Fellow in the Medical Bionics Department, University of Melbourne. She has a background in clinical audiology and worked for 31 years at Monash Health where she was a Senior Audiologist, specializing in the diagnosis of hearing loss in infants and children.

Julia was motivated to leave the audiology clinic and move into translational research by the need for a better way to measure a baby’s hearing ability. She is working with Professor Colette McKay to develop new ways to measure hearing acuity and sound discrimination in babies and young children. Her current research involves the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), to measure oxygen use in the cortex of the brain in response to sound. This novel method of measuring cortical auditory activity can be used to provide a more comprehensive assessment of a baby’s hearing and guide clinical decision making in baby’s with hearing impairment.

A major research focus is to use fNIRS to measure hearing ability in children with  , a condition that affects about ten percent of babies born with hearing loss. In this condition, speech understanding is compromised, and current audiology tests do not accurately measure a baby's hearing ability. Because of this, there is a delay in appropriate management and the opportunity for early intervention is lost. Julia is part of the   team which is developing a clinical test based on fNIRS so that audiologists can accurately measure hearing ability in the first months of life.

fNIRS can also be used to personalise hearing devices. Julia’s work with EarGenie™ is also aimed at measuring speech sound discrimination in babies with hearing aids and cochlear implants so that they have the best device fitting as soon as possible.

E: [email protected]

ORCID: 0000-0002-8339-5030

Google Scholar: Julia Wunderlich 


Research projects

Infant hearing

Student projects

Using brain imaging to explore language development in infants

Notable Publications

  1. D Mao, J Wunderlich, B. Savkovic, E Jeffreys, N Nicholls, OW Lee, M Eager, CM McKay (2021) Speech Token Detection and Discrimination in Individual Infants Using Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.Scientific Reports (2021, in press)
  2. JL Wunderlich, BK Cone-Wesson, R Shepherd (2006) Maturation of the cortical auditory evoked potential in infants and young children. Hearing Research (2006) 212 (1-2), 185-202
  3. JL Wunderlich, BK Cone-Wesson (2006) Maturation of CAEP in infants and children: a review Hearing Research (2006) 212 (1-2), 212-223
  4. G Rance, B Cone-Wesson, J Wunderlich, R Dowell (2002) Speech perception and cortical event related potentials in children with auditory neuropathy. Ear and Hearing (2002) 23 (3), 239-253
  5. B Cone-Wesson, J Wunderlich (2003) Auditory evoked potentials from the cortex: audiology applications. Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery (2003) 11 (5), 372-377
  6. SA Wilcox, K Saunders, AH Osborn, A Arnold, J Wunderlich, T Kelly, V Collins, LJ Wilcox, RJM Gardner, M Kamarinos, B Cone-Wesson, R Williamson, HM Dahl (2000) High frequency hearing loss correlated with mutations in the GJB2 gene. Human genetics (2000) 106 (4), 399-405


Further information

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