Professor Laurel Carney delivers seminar titled, "Speech coding in the auditory system: the "view" from the midbrain," at Danish Technical University

April 20, 2017

ewfMary Lou Ingram Professor in Biomedical Engineering Laurel Carney recently delivered a seminar at the Hearing Systems, Electrical Engineering, Danish Technical University, where she is currently a visiting professor. The seminar was titled, "Speech coding in the auditory system: the 'view' from the midbrain." 


Most studies of speech coding in the auditory nervous system have focused on how the spectrum of speech sounds is coded in the responses of auditory-nerve fibers. The limited dynamic range of the auditory-nerve discharge rates poses a challenge for the coding of the sound spectrum, motivating the investigation of temporal aspects of the neural responses. These investigations have Mainly focused on the detailed "fine structure" of phase-locked responses; however, the temporal fine-structure information is lost along the ascending auditory pathway. We will instead focus on the neural representation of Lower-frequency Fluctuations, related to F0 and Spectra Slopes (for unvoiced sounds.) Neurons in the auditory midbrain are very sensitive to Fluctuations in the frequency range of voice pitch, setting up a robust entertainment speech sounds, in quiet and in noisy backgrounds. Consideration of the response properties of These midbrain neurons from a higher vantage point on the ascending auditory pathway Provides New Insight Into the neural representation of speech and the Patterns That are provided as inputs to the forebrain.