Laurel Carney Awarded the 2015 William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience

June 2, 2015

Laurel H. Carney of the University of Rochester, has been awarded the William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). The award was presented at the 169th meeting of the ASA on 20 May 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience was established in 2011 through a generous donation by Bill and Chris Hartmann to the Acoustical Society of America to recognize and honor research that links auditory physiology with auditory perception or behavior in humans or other animals.

“The Acoustical Society of America provides an important scientific home for researchers pursuing questions related to sound and hearing. This group has positively shaped many of our careers, especially by providing access to an incredible group of mentors and role models. Receiving an award created by Bill and Christine Hartmann, two of my own role models, is truly a great honor. This award presents a challenge for me to emulate their life of discovery, presentation, publication, service, and education throughout the world,” said Carney.

The goal of Dr. Carney’s research program is to understand how the brain hears. The initial response of brain cells to sound is a complicated pattern of electrical pulses, a pattern that is modified and interpreted by millions of cells in many parts of the brain. Studies of physiology, human hearing, and computer models are combined to understand how this process works in listeners with normal hearing, so that an answer can be found to the question: How is the brain so good at hearing in noisy environments? Another goal is to understand why only relatively small amounts of hearing loss cause significant problems. Why does background noise (such as that in a busy restaurant) become so problematic for people with hearing loss? Answers to both of these questions will lead to better strategies for aiding listeners with hearing loss.

Laurel Carney earned an S.B. in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was Assistant and then Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Boston University (1991-2000) and moved to Syracuse where she served as Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience (2000-07). Dr. Carney joined the University of Rochester in 2007, where she currently serves as Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Neurobiology and Anatomy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Carney is a Fellow of the ASA and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. ASA publications include the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America—the world’s leading journal on acoustics, Acoustics Today magazine, books, and standards on acoustics. The Society also holds two major scientific meetings per year. For more information about the Society visit our website,

For more information please contact Elaine Moran, (516) 576-2360,