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- Reader in Neuroscience
- The Ear Institute
- Faculty of Brain Sciences
My route into hearing research was an unusual one. I was interested in understanding cortical processing and learning, and I knew that I wanted to study these things in the mouse because there are a number of useful tools for mouse research that can't easily be used with other animals. So I got into hearing research because I thought it was the easiest sense to study in the mouse!
I am an interdisciplinary scientist interested in understanding structure and function of thalamus, cortex and sensory systems. I use a variety of techniques, mainly electrophysiological techniques but also behavioural and some molecular techniques, and I do a lot of work with computational modellers as well. UCL is simply the one of the best environments in the world for me to work in, as it has a really great depth of research across the biological and computational sciences. The UCL Ear Institute is just one outstanding component of a very rich research environment.
Human beings effortlessly perform complex feats of sound perception and auditory learning; for example, identifying new friends on the telephone just from the way they say hello, predicting a family member's arrival home by the sound of the car alone, or recognizing music from mere snippets heard while flipping through channels on the radio. These everyday yet remarkable abilities are thought to depend on the neocortex, but the characteristics that give this six-layered neural tissue its incredible flexibility and computational power are still poorly understood. Research in my laboratory addresses fundamental questions about cortical and thalamic mechanisms of sound perception and auditory learning, including:
* How is auditory information transformed within thalamocortical circuits?
* What roles do the components of thalamocortical circuits play in sound perception and auditory learning?
* How is thalamocortical processing of auditory information affected by acoustic experience during development and auditory learning in adulthood?
* How is thalamocortical processing altered in psychiatric disorders affecting auditory perception and learning?
Research in the laboratory is highly interdisciplinary, involving a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural, and computational techniques. Our work benefits from our affiliations with the UCL Ear Institute and the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology; we also have collaborative links with the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, the Institute of Ophthalmology, and other academic research units at UCL.
I am co-organiser of BSc and MSc modules on the Anatomy and Physiology of Speech, Language and Hearing (SPSC2005 and HCSCGS17). I also give lectures on central auditory processing and cortical function in a variety of other modules at UCL.
|01-SEP-2008||Lecturer in Neuroscience||Ear Institute||University College London, United Kingdom|
|01-SEP-2004 – 31-AUG-2008||Lecturer in Neuroscience||Anatomy & Developmental Biology||University College London, United Kingdom|
|1999||PhD||Doctor of Philosophy||California Institute of Technology|
|1991||BA||Bachelor of Arts||Harvard University|
|04-06||CLTHE_1||Certificate in Learning and Teaching in HE Part 1||University College London|