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Eric Larson, PhD


Eric joined the lab in January of 2011 after completing his PhD in biomedical engineering at Boston University. In his doctoral work, Eric worked on modeling neural activity of auditory neurons at the cortical level, doing a combination of modeling and neurophysiology in the zebra finch.

In his postdoctoral research, Eric is looking at mechanisms of intentional attentional reorientation in audition, e.g. how changes in task demands are coordinated at the neural level to allow selective attention to particular sounds. Using psychophysics and multimodal imaging (magnetoencephalography combined with electroencephalography, with an anatomical constraint from MRI structural data), he will examine questions regarding spatial and non-spatial auditory attentional networks.

He received funding from an F32 entitled, “Cortical dynamics of orientation and switching of non-spatial auditory attention” and a Loan Repayment Program award from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).

Email: larsoner [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 368
Tel: (206) 685-4662
Personal website: www.larsoner.com

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Ross Maddox, PhD


Ross joined the lab in June of 2011 following his PhD work in biomedical engineering at Boston University. For his doctoral work, Ross used a combination of psychophysics and songbird electrophysiology to study how differences in acoustic features can help or hinder object formation.

For Ross's postdoctoral work, he plans to study crossmodal auditory and visual attention using psychophysics in concert with anatomically constrained MEG/EEG brain imaging. He is partcularly interested in investigating the mechanisms behind binding of acoustical and visual features, and how attention modulates this process.

He receives funding from the Hearing Health Foundation for his research. He also receives funding from the prestigious NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).

Email: rkmaddox [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 368
Tel: (206) 685-4662
Personal website: www.rossmaddox.com


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Dan McCloy, PhD


Dan joined the lab in June 2013 after completing his PhD in Linguistics at UW. His dissertation looked at the relationship between speech intelligibility and speech prosody.

At [LABS]N, Dan's research is focused on auditory attention in competing speech tasks. By manipulating linguistic cues and listener expectations, he hopes to illuminate differences in cortical activity between directed and accidental attention switching using a combined psychophysics and neuroimaging approach.

He received funding from the UW Speech & Hearing Training Grant.

Email: drmccloy [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 368
Tel: (206) 685-4662
Personal website: http://dan.mccloy.info/


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Susan McLaughlin, PhD


Susan joined [LABS]N as a Research Scientist in September 2013 after completing her PhD in Speech & Hearing Sciences at the University of Washington. Her dissertation research employed fMRI to investigate human auditory cortical tuning to interaural level and time differences. Her research interests include: neural processes underlying binaural listening: hemispheric asymmetries in human speech/language processing – particularly basic sound processing essential to speech understanding.

Prior to her doctoral work, Susan was a documentary producer for public television.

Email: smcl [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 204
Tel: (206) 616-0102


majid

Majid Mirbagheri, PhD


Majid joined the lab in October of 2014 after finishing his PhD in electrical engineering at University of Maryland College Park. For his doctoral research Majid worked on sound segregation and speech enhancement methods inspired by the models of human auditory system.

Majid's postdoctoral research is focused on audio/speech processing assisted by human through the use of non-invasive EEG brain imaging. In particular, he's interested in developing algorithms to recognize the cognitive state of the brain and augment normal hearing through sound segregation guided by attention.

Email: mbagheri [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 368
Tel: (206) 685-4662
Personal website: https://sites.google.com/site/mjmirbagheri/


bonnie

Bonnie Lau, PhD, CCC-SLP


Bonnie joined the lab in April 2015 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota. She obtained her doctoral training in human auditory development and infant psychophysics at the University of Washington. For her dissertation work, Bonnie investigated pitch perception prior to cortical maturation during early infancy. In Minnesota, Bonnie obtained further training in adult psychophysics and EEG. She conducted studies looking at the spectral representation of pitch at very high frequencies and the plasticity of cortical and subcortical EEG responses following short-term perceptual training.

The focus of Bonnie’s postdoctoral work in the lab is to integrate neurophysiological (EEG/MEG), psychophysical, and clinical assessment methods to study typical and atypical development of auditory cortical networks. Besides continuing her primary research in early infant development, Bonnie is also conducting studies that combine EEG and psychophysics to study central auditory processing in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and adults with hearing loss.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, Bonnie co-mentored an undergraduate thesis student, Rayna Yang, who received a Mary Gates scholarship for her research in the lab.

Bonnie recently authored an article for Physics Today titled, “Infants note the notes” summarizing her research on infant melody perception (In Press, Jully – print issue). She is also working on an entry on Auditory Development for the Sage Encyclopedia of Human Communication Sciences and Disorders, edited by Martin Ball and Jack Damico.

Email: blau [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 204
Tel: (206) 616-0102


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Nick Foti, PhD


Nick Foti works in collaboration with Emily Fox in Statistics and Adrian KC Lee in Speech and Hearing Sciences. Nick’s research interests are in developing machine learning methods that can be applied to phenomena exhibiting complex dependencies. His work at the UW focuses on uncovering the effective connections between the auditory sensory areas of the brain and the attentional network. To do this, he works with extremely noisy time series data arising from magnetoencepholography (MEG) recordings. This work has implications for both neuroscience research and for developing smart hearing aid technology. Nick holds a doctoral degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Tufts University.

He is a currently a Washington Research Foundation Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow at the UW Institute for Neuroengineering.


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Sarah Baum, PhD


Sarah joined the lab in September 2016 following a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University. She did her PhD in neuroscience at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. For her doctoral work, Sarah used fMRI to examine neural changes in mutlisensory speech perception in aphasia and healthy aging.
At UW Sarah is co-mentored by Adrian KC Lee in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Wendy Stone in Psychology. Sarah's focus in the lab is using psychophysics and neuroimaging to understand the behavioral and neural mechanisms of how children with autism process sensory (especially multisensory) information and how this relates to difficulties in speech and communication.
She is currently supported by the Mexiner Postdoctoral Fellowship for Translational Research with Autism Speaks.
Email: shbaum [at] uw [dot] edu
Office: Portage Bay Bldg. Room 204
Tel: (206) 616-0102


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Mark Wronkiewicz, PhD


Mark recently defended his PhD in the lab and is continuing in the lab as a postdoctoral researcher His work is focused on several projects concerning brain-computer interfaces (BCIs), which are devices controlled solely by brain signals. BCIs hold a great deal of potential for treating people after nervous system damage (e.g., stroke, spinal cord injury, etc.) because they can detect when someone is trying to interact with their environment even if that person is physically unable to do so.

His projects involve a technique called source imaging that estimates activity on the cortex from non-invasive recordings (like EEG and MEG) -- essentially, it's a way to view non-invasive data in an invasive (and more relevant) space. One of these projects aims at recycling BCI training data across subjects to eliminate the 20-30 minute calibration period typically required to get a BCI system up and running before every use ( see Wronkiewicz et. al 2015). Another uses previous findings concerning which areas of cortex are involved in a specific task so those same cortical regions can be targeted in a relevant BCI paradigm (see Wronkiewicz et al., 2016). He is also trying to use activity of coordinated brain regions as a signal in BCIs rather than activity of a single cortical area. Mark's side projects include contributing to the open-source MNE-Python code base on Github and exploring the use of deep learning in neuroengineering research. He is supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Email: wronk [at] uw [dot] edu

Personal website: www.markwronkiewicz.com