Learning to hear with plasticity across multiple timescales
Humans have a remarkable ability to understand speech in noisy environments such as a crowded pub. Despite advances in speech recognition, the question of how we do this remains largely unsolved.
This project aims at understanding how the brain adapts and learns to cope with these difficult listening situations, with the goal of developing better technology for speech processing. It will involve (1) developing mathematical and computational models of hearing and neural adaptation and plasticity, (2) experimental testing (including training in animal electrophysiology and human psychoacoustics), and (3) technology development for speech recognition, hearing aids and cochlear implants.