Graduate Training in Neuroscience
University of Washington
Associate Professor, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences
How do we use sound to make sense of the complex and ever-changing world around us? What are the neural mechanisms that allow us to localize, tell apart, and understand multiple sound sources in the presence of echoes, reverberation, and competing sounds? We use two kinds of methods to address these questions. Behavioral experiments allow us to study how listeners perceive auditory space and the particular kinds of acoustic information they use to do so. In this area, we are especially interested in how listeners combine information across multiple binaural cues and over the durations of brief sounds. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) allows us to map the brain regions involved in processing that information, and we have been using that approach to study the sensitivity of auditory cortical regions to dynamic binaural cues. As our maps of the auditory brain become more detailed, we hope to combine these approaches ever more closely to better understand the specific brain events underlying spatial perception in acoustically complex environments.