The ability to mentally process relevant sounds, while ignoring irrelevant ones, is important for everyday function. It allows us to recognize our own name from a jumble of multiple voices and detect sounds that may signify danger. It also allows us to remember information that could be useful later that same day, or after several years. Studying auditory cognition and auditory working memory reaches for the source of these processes, to try and understand how they operate and what happens when they do not operate properly.
The Auditory Cognition lab seeks to pursue a better understanding of human brain function in the auditory system. Our primary focuses are auditory working memory, attention, and higher-order cognition.
We utilize behavioral as well as non-invasive neuroimaging and brain stimulation techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate the underlying components of brain functions in the auditory cortex and surrounding regions. Our non-invasive studies are validated using intracranial EEG recordings from epilepsy patients during their pre-surgical monitoring. These methods provide information on functional subsystems of the cortex and the effect of secondary sensory systems on processing.
Our research helps determine the neural networks responsible for numerous higher-order cognition operations. This knowledge can then enable the development of more advanced and precise treatments for auditory-related diseases.