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Jan Schnupp (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, Oxford University) | On the neural representation of properties of speech sounds in the central auditory pathway: pitch, timbre, location and noise robustness

When Nov 11, 2014
from 05:15 PM to 06:45 PM
Where Lecture Hall, Institute of Biology I / Zoology, Hauptstr. 1
Contact Name Nicole Roßkothen-Kuhl
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Abstract

When listening to speech sounds, our brains must compute a number of features from the sound wave, including the pattern of so called formant spectral peaks which determine the sound's timbre and identify its phonetic identity, as well as the voice pitch and sound source direction. Furthermore, these computations need to be achieved in a manner which is "noise robust", given that adding background noise to a speech stream disrupts our ability to process speech less than might be expected. Little is known about how these processing steps are accomplished in the human brain, but given that many of the fundamental aspects of vocal communication are generic across all mammals, we have been conducting a number of studies in ferrets, rats and gerbils which aim to shed light on the neural processing of vocalisations and speech sounds in the ascending auditory pathway, and in this talk I will present some of the highlights of our recent work.

 

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