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- Senior Lecturer
- Dept of Computer Science
- Faculty of Engineering Science
My research focuses on using a range of methodologies to understand human auditory perception. I use both auditory psychophysics and EEG brain recordings to develop an understanding of how the ear and brain work together to provide us with an understanding of our immediate acoustic environment.
My research falls broadly into three areas.
1) Auditory Scene Analysis. The problem of associating different sound features (loudness, pitch, timbre and spatial location) with the correct sound source is also often referred to as the binding problem. I focus on designing psychophysical experiments that can improve our understanding of the role of neural feedforward and feedback processes that influence this binding process (e.g. peripheral auditory gain reduction mechanisms and the role of attention).
2) Auditory nonlinear processing: The healthy peripheral auditory system depends on the nonlinear processing of sound (suppression and compression) which acts to modify inner ear (cochlear) gain. A neural feedback system influences gain reduction and this nonlinear response. Currently we are investigating the spectro-temporal parameters of such a gain reduction system and the influence it has on the detection of signals in noise. Defining the parameters of such a system is important for designing speech-recognition systems and assistive hearing devices.
Aspects of 1) and 2) also impact on how auditory attention and training can play a role in perceiving and localising sounds in space within virtual environments. Of particular interest is the role of cross-modal interactions and how they influence our perception; e.g., audio-visual interactions.