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Simon Receives NIH Grant for Auditory Cortex Research

Prof. Jonathan Z. Simon
Prof. Jonathan Z. Simon

Prof. Jonathan Z. Simon (ECE/ISR/Biology) has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for his research, titled "The Neural Basis of Perceptually-Relevant Auditory Modulations in Humans." The five-year grant is worth approximately $1.2 million.

A significant challenge in auditory neuroscience is to understand how speech and other natural sounds are analyzed and encoded in the auditory cortex of the human brain. A major finding is that perception and speech processing are crucially affected by temporal modulations in the acoustic signal. However, identifying the physiological mechanisms that underlie perceptually-relevant temporal modulations presents a considerable technical challenge.

The goal of Simon's research program is to understand how acoustic modulations, the building blocks of speech and other natural sounds are encoded in the auditory cortex.

Prof. Simon's research employs magnetoencephalography (MEG), a non-invasive tool suitable for use in humans that records high-speed neural signals from the entire brain. Simon will use MEG and extracellular recording in complementary ways, to investigate how temporal modulations are encoded by the auditory cortex in the brain.

For more information about the research, visit Prof. Simon's web page.

February 27, 2008

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