C-CEBH Research Overview

Research Focus Areas

These are the 4 main areas of interest amongst C-CEBH scientists:

Neuroethological studies of sensory processing

Temporal and spectral processing of complex sounds

The inner ear

Comparative aspects of auditory streaming, attention, and object identification.

1. NEUROETHOLOGICAL STUDIES OF SENSORY PROCESSING

Neuroethology combines analyses at the behavioral, systems and cellular level, and a typical neuroethological project attempts to determine the mechanism by which a class of stimulus regimes controls a given natural behavioral response. Since there is a heavy concentration on species-specific behavior, neuroethological studies of auditory specialists such as bats, owls, fish, and praying mantises can provide new insights into mechanisms used by less specialized auditory systems. C-CEBH researchers focus on sound and spatial hearing.

This topic is the focus of C-CEBH researchers belonging to the Biology and Psychology Departments in UM. Read more

2. TEMPORAL AND SPECTRAL PROCESSING OF COMPLEX SOUNDS

Projects under this focal area all involve the physiology and psychophysics of temporal or spectral processing of complex sounds in normal and damaged ears of either humans or animals. Several of these projects focus on the perceptual mechanisms underlying the temporal analysis of complex sounds, including human speech and animal vocalizations. Some of them are focused more on central processes and some on more peripheral processes.

Researchers in this group belong to the Psychology, Biology, Linguistics, Hearing and Speech Sciences and Electrical & Computer Engineering Departments. Read more

3. THE INNER EAR

Our third area of interest is focused on the inner ear, and particularly on the sensory hair cells in auditory end organs of birds and fish and relevant brainstem structures. Since hair cells in fish and birds are homologous, it is possible to use the comparative method to explore issues related to inner ear function using the best model for each particular study.

Most researchers in this area of focus belong to the Biology and Electrical & Computer Engineering Departments. Read more

4. COMPARATIVE ASPECTS OF AUDITORY STREAMING, ATTENTION AND OBJECT IDENTIFICATION

One stellar example of interdisciplinary collaborations that have come about from our collaborations is work on auditory streaming and related mechanisms in speech perception.

Again, several departments collaborate in this research area including Psychology, Hearing & Speech Sciences and Electrical & Computer Engineering. Read more