Prof. Monty Escabi, a BME core faculty member, and his collaborators at UConn have received an official notice of a new research grant entitled “The role of sound statistics for discrimination and coding of sounds” from the NIH. It is a 5-year grant in the amount of $1.87M. Prof. Escabi (core BME faculty) is the PI and Profs. Heather Read and Ian Stevenson (both are affiliated BME faculty members) from Psychology department are Co-PIs.
The brain’s ability to accurately recognize and categorize sounds despite highly variable acoustic structure and in the presence of environmental noises is a remarkable trait of the normal functioning auditory system. This study examines how the normal auditory system of mammals encodes high-level statistical regularities in sounds that are essential for sound recognition and will develop computational approaches based on physiological principles for sound recognition. Such knowledge is essential for the development of auditory prosthetics that mimic normal hearing physiology, treatment strategies that overcome detrimental effects of hearing loss, and sound recognition systems that can deal with everyday acoustic variability.