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BME Seminar: Andrew Oxenham, How We Hear Pitch: Implications for Next-Generation Auditory Implants

Andrew J. Oxenham, Ph.D., Departments of Psychology and Otolaryngology, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
8:30 a.m.
River Campus, Robert B. Goergen Hall, Sloan Auditorium (Room 101)

Pitch is a crucial aspect of auditory perception. In music, sequences of pitches define a melody and combinations of pitches define harmony. In speech, pitch contours provide prosodic, emotional and – in some languages – lexical information. Pitch is also believed to play an important role in our ability to hear out speech and other sounds in cluttered acoustic environments, such as a crowded restaurant. Despite its importance, and a long history of research, much remains unknown about how pitch is coded in the auditory system. The question is important because pitch is one aspect of sound that is very poorly conveyed via current auditory prostheses, such as cochlear implants. This talk will review some work from our lab on pitch perception and its implications for the future development of auditory implants.