The Neural Coding Group is part of the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Members of the lab are also affiliated with the Harvard-MIT Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program, the MIT Research Laboratory of Electronics, and the Department of Otology and Laryngology at the Harvard Medical School.
Spatio-temporal response pattern in the auditory nerve for a harmonic complex stimulus.
The long-term goal of the group's research is to determine how speech and other biologically-significant sounds are processed by the auditory system, with a focus on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying auditory perception. To achieve this goal, we combine three major techniques of integrative neuroscience: neurophysiological (single-unit recordings), computational (mathematical models) and psychological (through collaborations with psychoacousticians). Currently, efforts are focused in three major directions: (1) studies of the coding of the pitch of harmonic complex tones in the auditory brainstem; (2) studies of the neural mechanisms of spatial hearing in the auditory brainstem, with particular emphasis on complex acoustic environments that include multiple sources and reverberation, (3) studies aimed at improving processing strategies in cochlear implants, particularly binaural implants. These lines of research are related in that, while normal-hearing listeners excel at understanding speech in noisy and reverberant environments, hearing-impaired and cochlear-implant patients often have difficulties in these adverse environments, even if they do well when facing a single speaker in a quiet room. Similar difficulties processing speech in adverse environments are also encountered by artificial systems for speech transmission and recognition. To understand these differences between normal listeners on the one hand, and hearing impaired listeners and artificial systems on the other hand will require an integrated knowledge of the auditory processing of speech, binaural processing in the auditory brainstem, and how these mechanisms are altered by pathology. Such knowledge will be invaluable for a rational design of improved hearing aids and auditory implants.
|Neural coding of pitch and music|
|Neural correlates of binaural and spatial hearing|
|Physiology of cochlear implants|
|Perception and neural coding of temporal envelope|
|Neural representation of speech|
|Computational models of auditory neurons|
|Physiological basis of masking and frequency selectivity|
Recent Poster Presentations
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