Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory

Lab head: Simon Carlile
Location: F13 - Anderson Stuart Building

The Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory hosts a multidisciplinary research program examining auditory spatial perception and its dependent neural processes. These studies blend together bioacoustic, psychophysical, neurophysiological and computational modelling approaches with state of the art, virtual space technologies. Research is currently focused on how the auditory system solves the 'cocktail party' problem; that is, our amazing ability to focus on a particular conversation of interest occurring against a noisy background.

These projects are examining the nature of the acoustic cues available to the auditory system, the way in which differences in the spatial locations of the sound sources are exploited, the perceptual encoding of speech and the role of auditory spatial attention. The results of this pure research are feeding into a practical development program, in collaboration with VAST Audio Pty Ltd, to produce a radical new spatial hearing aid. The laboratory is playing a key role in the clinical testing and commercialisation of this technology.

Lab members: S Carlile (head)

Neural and bioacoustical studies of the mammalian auditory system

Primary supervisor: Simon Carlile

Neural and bioacoustical studies of the mammalian auditory system (guinea pig and ferret) are aimed at determining how the monaural and binaural spectral cues to a sounds location are encoded by the nervous system. Neurophysiological techniques involve conventional microelectrode recordings (single and multi-unit) from the midbrain and the analysis of neural responses to sound stimuli presented in the free-field and in VAS. The analysis of unit data includes newly developed spike-sorting and correlation procedures to improve da ta recovery, underlying a strong emphasis on digital processing and analytical techniques in the laboratory.

Discipline: Physiology