Rapid task-related plasticity of spectrotemporal receptive fields in primary auditory cortex

Applications and robotic implementations of auditory processing

Physiological basis of Auditory Streaming in Auditory Cortex

Spectrotemporal analysis in the auditory cortex

Functional organization of early auditory system

Stereausis processing of binaural time-delays

Harmonic templates in pitch perception

VLSI Cochlea Model Chip

Physiological basis of Auditory Streaming in Auditory Cortex

Humans can effortlessly perceive and navigate their acoustic surroundings despite the multiplicity of simultaneous sound sources, and often in noisy and reverberant environments. A critical perceptual phenomenon underlying these remarkable abilities is auditory streaming – the ability to parse different sources into segregated “streams”, and hence to attend to one or another.  This innate capability utilizes a wide range of acoustic cues and perceptual attributes (location, pitch, loudness, timbre), and is closely related to other complex phenomena such as the “continuity illusion”.

The physiological underpinnings of auditory streaming remain barely explored, hampered by the lack of animal models, by the difficulties of reliably interpreting human imaging data in these tasks, and by the absence of comprehensive computational models of this phenomenon to facilitate the experimental work.  Ongoing research in our laboratory aims to integrate these three different strands (computational models, physiology, and psychoacoustics) into a coherent study of auditory streaming. Specifically, we have been developing and testing computational models of cortical function suitable for analysis and validation of data from psychoacoustic data on streaming. Behavioral experiments are also underway to determine whether our animal model (ferret) exhibits reactions consistent with perception of auditory streams. These behavioral paradigms have been adapted for use in pilot physiological experiments to record cortical responses to the same acoustic stimuli. Finally, we have initiated a complementary collaborative project critical to the success of this effort that will combine our animal research with a growing body of human psychoacoustic experiments (conducted at MIT), and with MEG imaging studies of the auditory cortex in humans (conducted at UMD).

Last updated: August 21, 2012

Designed by Shin Chang