People

  • Samira Anderson

    Assistant Professor

    Hearing and Speech Sciences 0100 Lefrak Hall

    301 405 4224

    sander22@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    We are interested in neural processing of auditory input across the life span. In infants, we study the development of speech sound differentiation and the relationship between subcortical speech encoding and later language development. This information may lead to earlier identification and treatment of language-based learning impairments. In older adults, we are investigating the effects of aging and hearing loss on the ability to understand speech in complex environments. As we age, we begin to notice a gradual decrease in our ability to process incoming stimuli, in part due to slower speed of processing. These changes are exacerbated by hearing loss and deficits in cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention. The basic test of hearing thresholds does not accurately predict hearing in noise. We use electrophysiology assessment techniques to assess the brain’s ability to accurately encode the timing and frequency components of speech in humans. We also evaluate plasticity in the auditory brainstem and cortex in response to sensory deprivation, augmented hearing, and auditory training. The use of hearing aids or cochlear implants cannot compensate for imprecise neural speech encoding; therefore, it is important to consider other rehabilitation approaches that focus on the use of auditory and/or cognitive training to improve speech understanding. The information gained from our research should lead to better methods of identification and management of hearing difficulties in older adults.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Hearing Brain Lab


  • Daniel Butts

    Associate Professor

    Biology Biosciences Research Building (BRB) 1118

    (301) 405-9890

    dab@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    As we look at the world around us, we have immediate access to the composition of the visual scene into objects, as well as our relationship in space to those objects. Likewise, in listening to speech, we are aware of meaning, often without even paying attention to the words themselves. This natural facility makes it possible to move though the world, catch or avoid moving objects, and base immediate decisions on a detailed understanding of the world around us. Only secondarily might we note the particular color or composition of particular points in the visual scene, or the durations of certain vowel sounds, or other low-level visual or auditory features of the scene. Our brain processes sensory information much differently than computers do: a computer can easily store the hue and luminance of every pixel of an image, but even with the best available software it cannot parse an arbitrary natural image into its underlying elements. However, in the absence of larger conceptual theories of how the brain processes information, established techniques have revolved around studying sensory systems abilities to represent information rather than understand the computation that it performs. In order to study computation in the brain, it is necessary to both establish larger theories about what is being computed, and design experiments to link these larger theories to observable physiology. Research in the NeuroTheory Lab is concerned both with developing larger theories of system-level function in vision and audition, as well as working closely with neurophysiologists to design and perform experiments that can guide and/or validate these theories. As a necessary third goal, we also develop new analytical tools to facilitate these new experiments, as well as increase what can be learned from existing experiments.

    Animals :None
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    NeuroTheory Lab


  • Catherine Carr

    Distinguished University Professor

    UMD Biology 4227 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-6915

    cecarr@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    When sound reaches one ear before the other, the brain uses the resulting interaural time differences (ITDs) to localize the sound. The barn owl is a nocturnal hunter and a good model for how we localize sound and process temporal information in general. We have shown that ITDs are translated into location in space in the brainstem. Detection of these time differences depends upon two mechanisms of general significance to neurobiology, delay lines and coincidence detection. Incoming axons form delay lines to create maps of ITD in nucleus laminaris. Their postsynaptic targets act as coincidence detectors and fire maximally when the interaural time difference is equal but opposite to the delay imposed by the afferent axons. Current research is focused on models of delay line-coincidence detector circuit, on the assembly of the map of sound localization during development and on how such circuits evolve. All projects develop from initial behavioral observations into systems, cellular and molecular levels of analysis.

    Animals :Birds, Reptiles
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Carr Lab


  • Robert Dooling

    Professor

    UMD Psychology 2123 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301 405 5925

    rdooling@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in the Laboratory of Comparative Psychoacoustics is aimed at understanding how animals communicate with one another using sound and whether there are parallels with how humans communicate with one another using speech and language. Birds such as songbirds and parrots, like humans, rely on hearing and learning to develop a normal vocal repertoire. We often study budgerigars (parakeets), canaries, zebra finches, and other small birds. For instance, we have specific projects on vocal learning and vocal development in budgerigars, the regeneration of auditory hair cells and recovery of hearing and the vocalizations in small birds following hearing damage, and the effect of noise on hearing. Other studies focus on how small birds localize sounds, how they perceive complex sounds such as bird vocalizations and human speech, and how the bird ear functions.

    Animals :Birds
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Laboratory of Comparative Psychoacoustics


  • Carol Espy-Wilson

    Professor

    Electrical and Computer Engineering A.V. Williams 2205

    301 405 7411

    espy@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in SCL combines engineering and speech science to address issues in speech communication. One major effort is concerned with the development of several components of a speech recognition system based on phonetic features. In particular, there are projects focusing on the signal representation, lexical access and the development of a new paradigm for speech recognition. A second project is focusing on the improvement in quality and intelligibility of speech and the development of tools for speech enhancement. A third project is concerned with articulatory and acoustic modeling. The fourth project concerns speaker identification using a set of acoustic parameters automatically extracted from speech. We have ongoing work on the automatic extraction of such parameters from speech for both speaker and speech recognition purposes. Other research interests involve speech synthesis .

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Speech Communication Laboratory


  • Jonathan Fritz

    Research Scientist

    UMD Engineering 2202 A.V. Williams Bldg.

    301 405 6596

    ripple@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and The Institute for System Research, the Neural Systems Laboratory studies the functionality of the mammalian auditory system through a wide range of disciplines and techniques ranging from theoretical models to neurophysiological investigations and psychoacoustical experiments.

    Animals :Ferrets, Monkeys
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Neural Systems Laboratory


  • Sandra Gordon-Salant

    Professor

    UMD Hearing and Speech 0119 LeFrak Hall

    301-405-4225

    sgordon@hesp.umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The aging auditory system is characterized by anatomical alterations in peripheral and central structures. Aging is also accompanied by decline in cognitive processes. While many deficits in perception are attributed to peripheral hearing loss, there remain age-related alterations in processing of signals beyond those that are associated with sensitivity loss. The focus of this laboratory is investigation of the consequences of aging and hearing loss on auditory performance. Our work has shown that age-related deficits, independent of hearing loss, are primarily observed on measures of auditory temporal processing. The strategies employed include evaluation of behavioral performance on speech perception and psychoacoustic tasks, as well as electrophysiologic indices that alter stimulus timing or presentation rate.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    UMD Hearing Lab


  • Matthew Goupell

    Associate Professor

    Hearing and Speech Sciences 0119E LeFrak Hall

    301-405-8552

    goupell@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    We are interested in how people understand speech in challenging situations, where the speech signals are degraded. The signal degradation may come from the environment, such as being at a noisy cocktail party or being in a large cathedral. Or the degradation may be an intrinsic part of the listener, for example people who need a hearing aid or cochlear implant. This problem is related to how people localize sound sources. We perform psychoacoustical tests on humans with normal hearing, hearing impairments, or with cochlear implants and then try to understand the results with neural models. The majority of my work lately is concerned with people with cochlear implants, specifically those with two (bilateral) implants. Bilateral cochlear-implant users typically struggle to localize sounds and understand speech in noise. The signal presented with a cochlear implant is highly degraded with respect to spectral content and there are a myriad of challenges when trying to understand what information is truly presented to an implant user. The signal in one ear is likely to be very different from the other ear. Yet, bilateral implant users often learn to integrate this contradictory information somehow.

    Animals :human
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Auditory Perception and Modeling Lab


  • Ronna Hertzano

    Associate Professor

    School of Medicine 16 S Eutaw St., Suite 500
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Hertzano’s research interests are focused on revealing the cell type-specific genetic and genomic regulatory pathways which control inner ear development and its molecular signaling cascades in health and disease. This knowledge is essential not only for the identification of new deafness genes, but can be applied to drive stem cells into desired cell fates for therapeutics. Cell Type-Specific Transcriptional Cascades in Inner Ear Development: one of the missions of the LIEDG is to reveal cell type-specific genetic and genomic regulatory pathways which control inner ear development. To accomplish these goals the team successfully developed and validated protocols for cell type-specific analysis of the ear using fluorescent activated cell sorting, and continues to develop these protocols to extend them to additional cell types and species. For example, using this approach we identified Zeb1 and miR200b as key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal fate in the mouse inner ear (Hertzano et al. 2011, Kurima et al. 2011), and deciphered the mechanism of a mutation in the Zeb1 gene in the Twirler mutant mouse. Current projects focus on hair cell-specific regulatory pathways important for terminal differentiation and deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying deafness as a result of mutations in hair cell-expressed transcription factors and miRNAs. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Acquired Hearing Loss: while congenital hearing loss affects 1 in 1000 newborns, age related hearing loss afflicts that majority of the elderly population and noise induced hearing loss affects 5% of the population world-wide and is a major problem for veterans. In this project the LIEDG is taking a cell type-specific approach to interrogate the translatomes of adult inner ears as they are exposed to noise with and without treatment. Using advanced bioinformatic approaches our goal is to decipher the mechanisms underlying acquired hearing loss to develop targeted therapeutics.

    Animals :Mice, Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Inner Ear Developmental Genetics


  • Timothy Horiuchi

    Associate Professor

    Electrical and Computer Enginnering; Institute for Systems Research 2215 A.V. Williams Building

    301 405 7412

    timmer@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The lab's vision is to develop real-time neural models of the brain to understand how animals perceive, interact with, and learn about their environment. We are pursuing this by developing models of brains at the cellular, network, systems, and behavioral levels of abstraction and by testing these models in realistic sensory environments. Our current research is focused on the bat echolocation system, a system rich in interesting scientific questions and potential for commercial, industrial, and other applications. This is called the "Microchipoptera Project"

    Animals :bats, robots!
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Computational Sensorimotor Systems Laboratory


  • Patrick Kanold

    Professor

    UMD Biology 1116 Bioscience Research Bldg.

    301 405 5741

    pkanold@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

     We are interested how experience in early life shapes brain function. Since neural circuits underlie brain function we analyze neural circuits in development but also in adult to understand how circuit differences can give rise to different abilities. By interfering with development, we aim to understand how disruption of early circuit function gives rise to neurological disease. To do this we use in vivo and in vitro physiological and imaging approaches such as single and multielectrode recordings, patch clamp recordings, laser-scanning photostimulation, 2-photon Ca-imaging of large networks, optogenetics, and computational modeling.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Kanold Lab


  • Stefanie E. Kuchinsky

    Research Assistant Professor

    Maryland Neuroimaging Center, Room 1111

    301-405-8657

    skuchins@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    A common complaint among older adults is that understanding speech is effortful, particularly for individuals with hearing loss. Compared to younger adults, the extra effort that older adults devote to speech processing can hinder their ability to engage in other social, cognitive, and physical tasks, thus reducing their quality of life. My work aims to develop objective measures of effort in order to improve our ability to assess its impact on speech perception and to develop effective interventions. To investigate how effort varies across different listening conditions and individuals, I use behavioral, neuroimaging, eye tracking, and pupillometry methods in studies of younger and older adults.

     

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    http://www.mnc.umd.edu/faculty/kuchinsky-stefanie


  • Katrina MacLeod

    Associate Research Scientist

    Biology 4244 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-7174

    macleod@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The fundamental problem of hearing is determining how a complex sound waveform can be interpreted by the brain as the auditory world around us. All information about an auditory scene is encoded in the auditory nerve, which projects to the cochlear nuclei in the brainstem. At this level, different types of information are extracted by different neural elements by using synaptic and cellular specializations that decode the nerve inputs. I am specifically interested in how timing and intensity cues are extracted at the auditory nerve to cochlear nucleus synapse and how short-term synaptic plasticity might contribute to this process. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings are made from acute slices of the chick auditory brainstem, a model in vitro system for the study of hearing. Physiological techniques are combined with quantitive modeling of synaptic plasticity and biophysical membrane properties.

    Animals :Birds
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    the MacLeod Lab


  • Cynthia F. Moss

    Professor

    Johns Hopkins Unversity 2123M Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-0353

    moss@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in the Auditory Neuroethology Lab includes studies of auditory information processing, spatial perception, memory and sensorimotor integration. Using the echolocating bat as a model system, our work combines acoustical, psychophysical, theoretical and neurophysiological research, with the goal of developing integrative theories on brain-behavior relations.

    Animals :Bats
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Auditory Neuroethology Laboratory (BATLAB)


  • Rochelle Newman

    Professor

    UMD Hearing and Speech 0100 LeFrak Hall

    301-405-4226

    rnewman1@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My research focuses on speech perception and word recognition, in both adults and young infants. Much of our work has been exploring infants' ability to perceive speech in noisy environments, such as multi-talker settings. We also explore such topics as how adult listeners adjust their perception for how an individual speaks, how infant listeners learn to generalize information across different talkers, and how early speech perception skills in infants relates to their later language development.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Language development and perception laboratories


  • Arthur Popper

    Emeritus Professor

    UMD Biology 2225 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-1940

    apopper@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Though recently retired, I continue with an active research involvement as Professor Emeritus and Research Professor. My interests are primarily involved in the study of hearing by aquatic organisms, and particularly by fishes. However, over the years, my interests have transitioned from a focus on the structure, function, and evolution of hearing to my current focus on the effects of man-made noise in the aquatic environment on animals. This has resulted in a series of recently-published studies that have explored behavioral and physiological effects of increased ambient sounds on fish, including effects of very high level sounds produced by methodologies used in the exploitation of off-shore energy exploration and production. My specific current interests include understanding soundscapes and how alternations in soundscapes resulting from human activities ranging may impact the behavior and physiology of aquatic organisms. I am also involved in working with various groups in developing guidelines for the protection of aquatic organisms exposed to high levels of sound.

    Animals :Fish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Aquatic Bioacoustics


  • Shihab Shamma

    Professor

    UMD Engineering 2203 A.V.Williams Bldg.

    301 405 6842

    sas@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and The Institute for System Research, the Neural Systems Laboratory studies the functionality of the mammalian auditory system through a wide range of disciplines and techniques ranging from theoretical models to neurophysiological investigations and psychoacoustical experiments.

    Animals :Ferrets, Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Neural Systems Laboratory


  • Jonathan Simon

    Professor

    UMD Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering 2209 A.V.Williams Bldg.

    301-405-3645

    jzsimon@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Auditory Neural Computations and Representations; Magnetoencephalography and Cortical Physiology; Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience; Signal Processing in Biological Systems. Specific topics include: auditory scene analysis, the cocktail party problem, cortical representations of speech, and auditory attention.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Computational Sensorimotor systems lab


  • Andrew Griffith

    Chief Otolaryngology Branch, Chief Molecultar Biology and Genetics Section Otolaryngology Branch

    NIDCD 5 Research Court, Room 1A-13
    Research Interests :

    Basic molecular biology and genetic research is carried out in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Section. Audiology Unit research activities include audiological and vestibular assessment of human subjects participating in clinical research protocols of the Otolaryngology Branch, the NIDCD, or other NIH Institutes and Centers.

    Animals :Humans, Rodent
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Barry Horwitz

    Chief, Section on Brain Imaging and Modeling Section, Voice, Speech and Language Branch

    NIDCD Building 10, Room 8S235B

    301 594 7755

    horwitz@mail.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    Current research focuses on understanding how the brain constructs networks of interacting regions (i.e., neural networks) to perform cognitive tasks, especially those associated with audition and language, and how these networks are altered in brain disorders. These issues are addressed by combining computational neuroscience techniques with functional neuroimaging data, obtained using fMRI, PET, or MEG. The network analysis methods allow us to evaluate how brain operations differ between tasks and between normal and patient populations. This research will allow us to ascertain which networks are dysfunctional, and the role neural plasticity plays in enabling compensatory behavior to occur. A unique aspect of our research is that most of the experiments we do are linked to our modeling, in that these experiments are performed to either acquire data for developing our models or else for testing them.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Bechara Kachar

    Chief Section on Structural Cell Biology, Chief Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics

    NIDCD Building 50, Room 4249 50 South Drive

    301 402 1600

    kacharb@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics (LCSD) seeks an integrated molecular understanding of the architecture, dynamics, function, and renewal of specialized cellular structures - in particular those underlying mechanosensory function of auditory and vestibular sensory cells. The long-term goal of the program is to develop a framework for understanding the different forms of loss of mechanosensory function and to explore opportunities for preventive and therapeutic interventions. The Section on Structural Cell Biology (SSCB) explores fundamental molecular-structure-function relationships using cell biological and molecular biological approaches coupled with cutting-edge electron microscopy and emerging live cell imaging techniques. Principal areas of current and future focus in the SSCB are: (1) Molecular characterization of the key structural elements and dynamic processes that contribute to the sensory-motor function of auditory and vestibular sensory cells. (2) To study how membrane/cytoskeletal assemblies such as stereocilia, intercellular junctions, and synapses are formed, how they regulate their size and shape, and how they undergo self-renewal while maintaining steady state structure, dynamic properties, and function. (3) Localization and characterization of the function of protein products of genes implicated in environmental, age-related, and inherited hearing loss.

    Animals :rodents, amphibian
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics


  • Carmen Brewer

    Chief of Auditology

    NIDCD Auditology Unit 5 Research Court, 1A-13

    (301) 496-1960

    brewerc@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The primary research interest of the Audiology Unit is the pathogenesis and manifestations of hereditary hearing and balance disorders, and the correlation of distinctive auditory and vestibular phenotypes with underlying molecular genotypes. Additional activities include studies of hearing loss associated with noise or other ototoxins, and inflammatory, neoplastic or infectious processes. We use a comprehensive battery of auditory and vestibular measures that includes otoacoustic emissions, wideband acoustic reflectance, auditory processing evaluation, psychoacoustic measures of pitch perception, auditory and vestibular evoked potentials, videonystagmography, rotary vestibular chair testing, and computerized dynamic platform posturography.

    Animals :humans, mice
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Otolar


  • Catherine Weisz

    Investigator / Acting Chief

    Section on Neuronal Circuitry NIH / NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center

    301-827-9014

    Research Interests :

    We study synaptic inputs and outputs of brainstem olivocochlear efferent neurons that project to the cochlea using mouse models. Projects in the lab use the techniques of whole cell patch clamp recordings from auditory neuron somata and dendrites, combined with optogenetics and imaging of neuronal activity. Using these tools we dissect the synaptic inputs to the olivocochlear efferents in the brainstem, to determine how they are activated and modulated. Projects in lab also examine how the activity of the efferent neurons changes after noise trauma, or during disease. Parallel experimentation investigates the complex outputs of olivocochlear efferent neurons in the cochlea, using dendritic recording techniques from spiral ganglion afferent neurons and hair cells, paired with imaging techniques. The in-depth investigation of synaptic circuitry of olivocochlear efferent neurons will give insight into roles that the neurons play in both the healthy and diseased cochlea, and will be used to provide targets for therapeutic manipulation of the efferent system.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

  • Dennis Drayna

    Chief Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

    NIDCD 5 Research Court, Room 2B44

    301 402 4930

    drayna@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders is focused on identifying genetic variation in the molecular components of human communication systems. Our primary tools are genetic linkage and positional cloning studies, used to identify genes responsible for communication disorders in humans, including disorders of auditory pitch recognition, deficits in the human sense of bitter taste, and the speech disorder of stuttering.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Molecular Genetics


  • Doris Wu

    Chief Section on Sensory Cell Regeneration and Development Laboratory of Molecular Biology

    NIDCD/NIH 5 Research Ct., Rm 2B34

    301 402 4214

    wud@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    Humans and many animals rely on the inner ear, an intricate sensory organ, to hear and to maintain balance. Inner ear development is a complex process that is dependent on a cascade of molecular events, which occur in a precise temporal sequence. Any missteps in this process will most likely result in some degree of dysfunction affecting the abilities to hear and maintain balance. My laboratorys goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of this complex structure. Our focus is on identifying the tissues and signaling molecules that specify the three primary cell types (neural, sensory, and nonsensory) which make up the inner ear. We are also interested in the developmental mechanisms that dictate the spatial position and orientation of each of the inner ear components with respect to the overall body axes. To address these questions, we perform in ovo manipulations of chicken embryos and generate chicken and mouse models with genetic modifications.

    Animals :Rodents, birds
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology


  • James Battey

    Director

    NIDCD Building 31, Room 3C02
    Research Interests :

    The G-protein Coupled Receptors' Section is interested in elucidating the structure, function, and regulation of the largest family of proteins in the genome that mediate intracellular signaling. Our attention is focused primarily on the bombesin receptor subfamily and candidate taste receptors.

    Animals :Reptiles, Rodents
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Dr Battey's laboratory


  • Katie Kindt

    Tenure track investigator

    NIH/NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center 35A Convent Drive 1D 933 Bethesda, MD 20892

    Research Interests :

    Currently the research in the Section of Sensory Cell Development and

    Function is focused on understanding the molecular requirements and activity-dependent

    processes that drive hair-cell synapse assembly and function in an intact system. Our research

    leverages the strengths of the genetically tractable zebrafish model system. In the zebrafish,

    larvae are transparent, develop ex utero, and possess an auxiliary hair-cell organ called the

    lateral line. The lateral-line system is composed of clusters of superficial hair cells called

    neuromasts that are readily visualized and physically stimulated in vivo. Our work in the

    zebrafish combines genetics and in vivo imaging of activity along with synaptic structures to

    dissect the molecular and functional requirements underlying hair-cell synapse function and

    assembly. This is an important basic science question, but it also has important implications for

    hearing loss. While the majority of hearing loss is due to damage of sensory hair cells, there is

    accumulating evidence that for example in noise-induced hearing loss, the pathology may be

    due to damage and loss of hair-cell synapses rather than hair cells. Therefore for effective

    clinical treatment, it is important hair cells to understand how to reform these synaptic

    connections. In the future, it is our goal to apply our knowledge of synapse formation to

    understanding how to properly regenerate hair cells and synaptic structures after hair-cell

    damage and hearing loss.

    Animals :Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    https://neuroscience.nih.gov/Faculty/Profile/katie-kindt.aspx


  • Lisa Cunningham

    Chief, Section on Sensory Cell Biology

    Porter Neuroscience Research Center 35A
    Research Interests :

    Our research is focused on the mechanosensory hair cells that are the receptor cells of hearing and balance. Specifically, we are interested in the molecular signals that regulate the survival, homeostasis, and death of these cells. Mammalian hair cells are terminally differentiated and are not regenerated when they are lost. Therefore, human hair cells must survive and function for up to a century (or longer) in order to transduce sound and head movement into the neural signals of hearing and balance throughout a normal lifespan. During this lengthy period of time, the hair cell may encounter multiple potentially-toxic stimuli, including exposure to excessive sound and/or exposure to therapeutic drugs with ototoxic side effects. Hair cells must be able to respond rapidly and effectively to these and other potentially-cytotoxic stimuli if they are to survive and continue to function.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

  • Matthew Kelley

    Chief, Developmental Neuroscience Section

    NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center, 35
    Research Interests :

    The overall goals of the Developmental Neuroscience Section are to identify the molecular and cellular factors that play a role in the development of the sensory epithelium of the mammalian cochlea (the organ of Corti). The organ of Corti is comprised of at least 6 distinct cell types that are arranged in highly conserved mosaic. The generation of a specific number of each cell type and the arrangement of these cell types into a regular pattern are essential for the normal perception of sound; however, our understanding of the factors that play a role in the development of this structure is extremely limited. Current research in the laboratory is focused on the mechanisms that control the number of cells that will develop with each distinct phenotype. Previous results have demonstrated that the number of cells that will develop as sensory hair cells is regulated through inhibitory interactions between neighboring cells. These results suggest that the possible cell fates within the cochlea may be arranged in a hierarchy and that as the number of cells that become specified to develop as a single phenotype increases, these cells then begin to produce inhibitory signals that force the remaining cells to develop with alternate fates. A second area of interest is the mechanisms that control overall cellular pattern within the cochlea. The cellular pattern of the mammalian cochlea is arranged in a gradient such that one type of sensory cell is located on one edge of the epithelium and a second type of sensory cell is located on the opposite edge. At both edges the sensory cells are arranged in distinct rows. The factors that specify the formation of this pattern are unknown; however, preliminary results suggest that the Wnt signaling pathway may play a role in the development of this pattern. Finally, recent work in the laboratory has begun to examine the molecular factors that regulate the development of planar polarity within the cochlea. All hair cells have a "V"-shap.

    Animals :Rodents
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Shawn Burgess

    Head, Developmental Genomics Section

    NHGRI Building 50, Room 5537 50 South Drive, M

    301 594 8224

    burgess@nhgri.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    His laboratory uses zebrafish as a model organism to identify and functionally characterize novel developmental genes in order to establish the genomics of human ear development.

    Animals : Zebra fish
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Developmental Genomics Section Genome Technology Branch, NHGRI


  • Thomas Friedman

    Adjunct Professor NACS, Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

    NIDCD, NACS 5 Research Court, Room 2A01
    Research Interests :

    The goal of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics is to identify, clone and characterize the genes that contribute to communication disorders. The Laboratory of Molecular Genetics has three sections, the Section on Human Genetics, the Section on Gene Structure and Function, and the Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders. The Section on Human Genetics is studying the genes responsible for hereditary hearing impairment and hearing loss coupled with blindness (Usher syndrome). Improved understanding of the mutated genes will provide important information on hearing and brain processing. The identification of the relevant genes will also permit early and more accurate diagnosis for certain forms of hereditary hearing and communication impairments as well as loss of sight.

    Animals :Humans, Rodent
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of molecular genetics


  • Zubair Ahmed

    Associate Professor

    UMMC, Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery BioPark1, 800 West Baltimore St
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Ahmed long-term goal is to understand how the retinal and inner ear sensory epithelia develop and function. His lab study inherited human disorders of retina and inner ear, like Usher syndrome (USH) and Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) to improve our understanding of these organs at the molecular level, to study the pathophysiology of these disorders in animal models for the purpose of developing new strategies to prevent and treat these neurosensory disorders. The studies under investigation are designed to answer the following broad questions: What are the precise mechanisms of various forms of hearing and vision dysfunction? What are the genetic factors that determine light sensitivity? How do the pathogenic mutations in disease-causing genes affect the ear, eye and skin structure and function? And which molecules or genetic factors can exacerbate and/or mitigate the effects of disease-causing genes? For these studies, families segregating inherited USH and OCA are being collected. Mutant mouse and zebrafish models have been developed and his lab evaluates them to understand the function of new proteins. Functional analysis of the newly identified genes associated with deaf-blindness and OCA promises new insights into the molecular mechanisms of vision and auditory development and functions and will facilitate the rational design of potential therapies.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Ricardo Araneda

    Associate Professor

    CLFS-Biology 3271 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 5540

    raraneda@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My main interest is to understand the mechanisms by which neurotransmitters regulate neuronal activity in the brain and the role of neuromodulation in sensory information processing. Using a combination electrophysiology, imaging and molecular biology techniques, our research seeks to understand how neurons in the olfactory bulb are modulated by chemical signals from other parts of the brain. In addition, we are currently studying how adult generated inhibitory neurons are integrated in the olfactory bulb circuitry.

    Animals :rodents
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Neurobiology Laboratory / Araneda Lab


  • James Battey

    Professor

    BSOS-Dean-Neuroscience and Cognitive Science NACS, BSOS Building 31, Room 3C02

    Research Interests :

    The G-protein Coupled Receptors' Section is interested in elucidating the structure, function, and regulation of the largest family of proteins in the genome that mediate intracellular signaling. Our attention is focused primarily on the bombesin receptor subfamily and candidate taste receptors.

    Animals :Reptiles, Rodents
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Douglas Brungart

    Chief Scientist

    Audiolenter, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Rm 5600 Bldg. 19
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Brungart serves as Chief Scientist for the Audiology and Speech Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The ASC provides clinical care which includes audiology and speech/language pathology services in addition, research conducted in the Scientific and Clinical Studies Section of the ASC. The SCSS consists of audiologists, neuroscientists, speech pathologists, and engineers who conduct basic, applied and translational research focused on the development of improved methods to enhance the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of audiology and speech/language disorders across the lifespan. Current major research areas include: development of auditory fitness-for-duty standards (laboratory and real-world performance), evaluation of hearing loss prevalence in the armed services, development of functional measures of speech understanding/speech perception, validation of DoD hearing profile standards and laboratory and field trials of hearing protection.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Karen Carleton

    Professor

    Biology 2130 Bioscience Research Building

    301.405.6929 / 301.405.81

    kcarleto@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Evolution of visual systems and visual communication: genetics of visual system tuning; physical modeling of color signals and visual discrimination. African cichlid fishes serve as a model to explore how natural and sexual selection drive communication. Evolution of rod and cone phototransduction: tuning photoreceptor responsivity through evolution of protein structure and gene expression. A comparative genomic approach utilizing a diversity of vertebrates including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and agnathans.

    Animals :mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and agnathans.
    Campus Institute : Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Carleton Lab


  • Monita Chatterjee

    Director

    Auditory Prostheses & Perception Laboratory, Boystown National Research Hospital 55530th St., Omaha, NE 68131
    Research Interests :

    The APPL conducts research on various aspects of hearing with cochlear implants (CIs). Along the way, we are also learning a great deal about how the normal brain processes degraded sounds/speech. Specific current projects include i) studies of pitch/intonation/lexical tone perception by children and adults with CIs, as well as their normally hearing peers; ii) examining aspects of the auditory nerve response to electrical stimulation as reflected in perceptual measures; iii) how the CI listener processes multi-channel, complex electrical stimuli. Collaborations with Dr. Rochelle Newman at the University of Maryland and Dr. Deniz Baskent at the University of Groningen investigate various aspects of the perception of degraded speech by infants, toddlers and adults. In addition, in new collaborations with Dr. Yung-Song Lin at Chi-Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, and Dr. Charles Limb at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, we are investigating the processing of voice-pitch information by early-implanted children who are native speakers of Chinese (Taiwan) and American English (US).

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Auditory Prostheses & Perception Lab


  • Kenneth Grant

    Senior Research Audiologist / Adjunct Professor

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Ctr/UMD College of Chemical&Life Sciences 1210 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 6885

    grant@tidalwave.net

    Research Interests :

    It's estimated that more than 46 million people in the US of all ages, races and gender, suffer some form of disordered communication. Of these, approximately 28 million have some degree of hearing loss. By far, the most frequent complaint made by people with hearing loss is their difficulty or inability to understand speech in noisy environments. The most effective way to address this problem is to watch the talkers face while he or she speaks. The process of deriving information from watching the movement of the lips, jaw, and other facial gestures during speech production, is know as speechreading. When speechreading and hearing are combined, the result is an extremely robust speech signal that is greatly resistant to noise and hearing loss. The mission of the Auditory-Visual Speech Recognition Laboratory is to identify the various perceptual processes involved in auditory-visual speech perception, to determine the abilities of individual patients to carry out these processes successfully, and to design intervention strategies incorporating modern signal processing technologies and training techniques to remedy any deficiencies that may be found. Laboratory studies typically involve the presentation of auditory, visual, and auditory-visual speech samples to subjects. The subjects task is to identify the speech samples by activating designated areas on a touch-screen terminal, writing with paper and pencil, or repeating back what they thought was said. Because speech recognition involves several levels of processing, from peripheral extraction of primary auditory and visual cues, to the utilization of linguistic knowledge and language experience for categorizing sounds and images into words and phrases, the speech samples used cover a broad range from nonsense syllables to connected speech (e.g. sentences and paragraphs). One of the unique features of the experiments conducted in this laboratory is the focus on individual differences in speech recog

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Auditory-Visual Speech Recognition Laboratory


  • Jens Herberholz

    Associate Professor

    Psychology 2123H Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 5902

    jherberh@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in my lab investigates the neural basis of animal behavior: We are interested in identifying and examining neural circuitry that underlies offensive and defensive aggression as well as decision-making and behavioral choice. We use crayfish as our primary animal model because they display easily quantifiable behavioral patterns, and they feature a nervous system of tractable complexity that is accessible for a variety of neurophysiological and neuropharmacological studies. Most social animals compete aggressively for resources such as food, shelter and mates. The early stages of an encounter between well-matched crayfish are marked by an aggressive escalation that can include strikes, aggressive posture, grappling with claws, and bouts of offensive tail-flips (Herberholz et al. 2001, Edwards & Herberholz 2005). At some point, fighting in crayfish is interrupted by an abrupt change in the agonistic behavior of one animal as it switches from aggressive to submissive behaviors. This switch marks the change in the dominance status of the animals and identifies the new subordinates (Herberholz et al. 2001). Dominant and subordinate crayfish then show clear differences in their behavior. The dominant animal displays a dominant posture, initiates approaches and attacks, constructs a shelter and claims first access to most resources, while the subordinate displays a submissive posture, retreats and escapes from the dominant, and is left to claim unwanted resources (Herberholz et al. 2001, Edwards et al. 2003, Herberholz et al. 2003, Song et al. 2006, Herberholz et al. 2007).

    Animals :crayfish
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    aboratory of Crustacean Neurobiology & Behavior


  • William Idsardi

    Professor and Chair

    Linguistics 1417 Marie Mount Hall

    301 405 8376

    idsardi@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My research focuses on the mental representations and computations associated with speech.

    Animals :humans
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Dept. of Linguistics page


  • Derek Paley

    Associate Professor

    Aerospace Engineering, NACS 3150 Glenn L. Martin Hall

    301-405-5757

    dpaley@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

     Research in nonlinear dynamics and controls, cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, adaptive sampling with mobile networks, and spatial modeling of biological groups.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory


  • Saima Riazuddin

    Associate Professor

    UMMC, Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery BioPark1, 800 West Baltimore St
    Research Interests :

    The focus of Dr. Riazuddin’s laboratory is investigating the genetic factors associated with hearing impairment and understanding the precise mechanism of various forms of hearing dysfunction using human pedigrees, mutant mouse models and zebrafish as tools. A complementary study in her lab is focused on identifying the modifier genes that can preclude the effect of disease causing mutations and the mechanism, by which they confer resistance to pathogenic mutation. The long-term goal of this research is to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of inherited hearing loss with the aim of discovering drugs or treatments to prevent this disease.

    Animals :Mouse, Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Joshua Singer

    Associate Professor

    Biology, NACS Physiology; UMD Medical School 1112 BioScience Research Bldg

    301-405-9784

    jhsinger@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My laboratory studies a specialized group of neurons that compose a retinal circuit called the rod bipolar cell pathway (see figure at right). This pathway functions during night vision, and signaling within it begins when rods absorb light. Rods are the receptive cells that are most sensitive to light: single photons can activate rods and cause very small electrical signals to be generated within them. Electrical signals from rods are propagated first to rod bipolar cells, then to AII amacrine cells (AIIs), and finally to ganglion cells, the neurons that project to the brain.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Sergei Sukharev

    Professor

    Biology 3216 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 6923

    sukharev@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Our current research focuses on bacterial mechanosensitive channels MscL and MscS, which function as osmolyte release valves in prokaryotes. These channels are good models for studies of basic principles of membrane-based sensory mechanisms because they gate directly in response to tension in the lipid bilayer, and their crystal structures are available.

    Animals :bacteria
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Sukharev Lab


  • Gerald Wilkinson

    C-CEBH Affiliated Faculty, Professor

    UMD Biology 2223 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301 405 6942

    wilkinson@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Dr. Wilkinson conducts research on the evolution of social behavior, with emphasis on how genetic mechanisms may influence the outcome of evolution. Recent research in the lab addresses several controversial topics in animal behavior: sexual selection, genomic conflict, cooperation and communication. Stalk-eyed flies are being used as a model system for studying the evolution of sexually selected traits. Our recent empirical and theoretical results have surprisingly implicated meiotic drive as a potent evolutionary agent which can catalyze sexual selection. Using quantitative trait locus studies we have recently confirmed the prediction that sex-linked genes that influence a sexually selected trait are linked to genes causing sex chromosome meiotic drive. In addition, crosses between SE Asian populations are being conducted to determine if sex chromosome meiotic drive is involved in speciation. We are also using microarrays to find candidate genes involved in elongation of eyestalks. Bats in the neotropics and in the US are being studied in the lab and field to understand how communication mediates cooperation and social learning.

    Animals :Bats
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Lab


  • David Yager

    Associate Professor

    Psychology, NACS BPS 2123G

    301-405-7228

    ddyager@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My lab studies the evolution of auditory systems. We use the praying mantis because of its unique cyclopean auditory system that is linked to a strong, complex, stereotyped evasive response. A particular focus is on how the CNS changes during the evolution of a sensory system to use new sensory information to control adaptive behaviors. We combine neurophysiological and behavioral experiments with a broadly comparative approach.

    Animals :Insects
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Insect Auditory Evolution


  • Zubair Ahmed

    Associate Professor

    UMMC, Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery BioPark1, 800 West Baltimore St
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Ahmed long-term goal is to understand how the retinal and inner ear sensory epithelia develop and function. His lab study inherited human disorders of retina and inner ear, like Usher syndrome (USH) and Oculocutaneous Albinism (OCA) to improve our understanding of these organs at the molecular level, to study the pathophysiology of these disorders in animal models for the purpose of developing new strategies to prevent and treat these neurosensory disorders. The studies under investigation are designed to answer the following broad questions: What are the precise mechanisms of various forms of hearing and vision dysfunction? What are the genetic factors that determine light sensitivity? How do the pathogenic mutations in disease-causing genes affect the ear, eye and skin structure and function? And which molecules or genetic factors can exacerbate and/or mitigate the effects of disease-causing genes? For these studies, families segregating inherited USH and OCA are being collected. Mutant mouse and zebrafish models have been developed and his lab evaluates them to understand the function of new proteins. Functional analysis of the newly identified genes associated with deaf-blindness and OCA promises new insights into the molecular mechanisms of vision and auditory development and functions and will facilitate the rational design of potential therapies.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Samira Anderson

    Assistant Professor

    Hearing and Speech Sciences 0100 Lefrak Hall

    301 405 4224

    sander22@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    We are interested in neural processing of auditory input across the life span. In infants, we study the development of speech sound differentiation and the relationship between subcortical speech encoding and later language development. This information may lead to earlier identification and treatment of language-based learning impairments. In older adults, we are investigating the effects of aging and hearing loss on the ability to understand speech in complex environments. As we age, we begin to notice a gradual decrease in our ability to process incoming stimuli, in part due to slower speed of processing. These changes are exacerbated by hearing loss and deficits in cognitive abilities, such as memory and attention. The basic test of hearing thresholds does not accurately predict hearing in noise. We use electrophysiology assessment techniques to assess the brain’s ability to accurately encode the timing and frequency components of speech in humans. We also evaluate plasticity in the auditory brainstem and cortex in response to sensory deprivation, augmented hearing, and auditory training. The use of hearing aids or cochlear implants cannot compensate for imprecise neural speech encoding; therefore, it is important to consider other rehabilitation approaches that focus on the use of auditory and/or cognitive training to improve speech understanding. The information gained from our research should lead to better methods of identification and management of hearing difficulties in older adults.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Hearing Brain Lab


  • Ricardo Araneda

    Associate Professor

    CLFS-Biology 3271 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 5540

    raraneda@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My main interest is to understand the mechanisms by which neurotransmitters regulate neuronal activity in the brain and the role of neuromodulation in sensory information processing. Using a combination electrophysiology, imaging and molecular biology techniques, our research seeks to understand how neurons in the olfactory bulb are modulated by chemical signals from other parts of the brain. In addition, we are currently studying how adult generated inhibitory neurons are integrated in the olfactory bulb circuitry.

    Animals :rodents
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Neurobiology Laboratory / Araneda Lab


  • James Battey

    Director

    NIDCD Building 31, Room 3C02
    Research Interests :

    The G-protein Coupled Receptors' Section is interested in elucidating the structure, function, and regulation of the largest family of proteins in the genome that mediate intracellular signaling. Our attention is focused primarily on the bombesin receptor subfamily and candidate taste receptors.

    Animals :Reptiles, Rodents
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Dr Battey's laboratory


  • James Battey

    Professor

    BSOS-Dean-Neuroscience and Cognitive Science NACS, BSOS Building 31, Room 3C02

    Research Interests :

    The G-protein Coupled Receptors' Section is interested in elucidating the structure, function, and regulation of the largest family of proteins in the genome that mediate intracellular signaling. Our attention is focused primarily on the bombesin receptor subfamily and candidate taste receptors.

    Animals :Reptiles, Rodents
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Katie Kindt

    Tenure track investigator

    NIH/NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center 35A Convent Drive 1D 933 Bethesda, MD 20892

    Research Interests :

    Currently the research in the Section of Sensory Cell Development and

    Function is focused on understanding the molecular requirements and activity-dependent

    processes that drive hair-cell synapse assembly and function in an intact system. Our research

    leverages the strengths of the genetically tractable zebrafish model system. In the zebrafish,

    larvae are transparent, develop ex utero, and possess an auxiliary hair-cell organ called the

    lateral line. The lateral-line system is composed of clusters of superficial hair cells called

    neuromasts that are readily visualized and physically stimulated in vivo. Our work in the

    zebrafish combines genetics and in vivo imaging of activity along with synaptic structures to

    dissect the molecular and functional requirements underlying hair-cell synapse function and

    assembly. This is an important basic science question, but it also has important implications for

    hearing loss. While the majority of hearing loss is due to damage of sensory hair cells, there is

    accumulating evidence that for example in noise-induced hearing loss, the pathology may be

    due to damage and loss of hair-cell synapses rather than hair cells. Therefore for effective

    clinical treatment, it is important hair cells to understand how to reform these synaptic

    connections. In the future, it is our goal to apply our knowledge of synapse formation to

    understanding how to properly regenerate hair cells and synaptic structures after hair-cell

    damage and hearing loss.

    Animals :Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    https://neuroscience.nih.gov/Faculty/Profile/katie-kindt.aspx


  • Carmen Brewer

    Chief of Auditology

    NIDCD Auditology Unit 5 Research Court, 1A-13

    (301) 496-1960

    brewerc@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The primary research interest of the Audiology Unit is the pathogenesis and manifestations of hereditary hearing and balance disorders, and the correlation of distinctive auditory and vestibular phenotypes with underlying molecular genotypes. Additional activities include studies of hearing loss associated with noise or other ototoxins, and inflammatory, neoplastic or infectious processes. We use a comprehensive battery of auditory and vestibular measures that includes otoacoustic emissions, wideband acoustic reflectance, auditory processing evaluation, psychoacoustic measures of pitch perception, auditory and vestibular evoked potentials, videonystagmography, rotary vestibular chair testing, and computerized dynamic platform posturography.

    Animals :humans, mice
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Otolar


  • Douglas Brungart

    Chief Scientist

    Audiolenter, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center 8901 Wisconsin Avenue, Rm 5600 Bldg. 19
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Brungart serves as Chief Scientist for the Audiology and Speech Center at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The ASC provides clinical care which includes audiology and speech/language pathology services in addition, research conducted in the Scientific and Clinical Studies Section of the ASC. The SCSS consists of audiologists, neuroscientists, speech pathologists, and engineers who conduct basic, applied and translational research focused on the development of improved methods to enhance the prevention, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of audiology and speech/language disorders across the lifespan. Current major research areas include: development of auditory fitness-for-duty standards (laboratory and real-world performance), evaluation of hearing loss prevalence in the armed services, development of functional measures of speech understanding/speech perception, validation of DoD hearing profile standards and laboratory and field trials of hearing protection.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Shawn Burgess

    Head, Developmental Genomics Section

    NHGRI Building 50, Room 5537 50 South Drive, M

    301 594 8224

    burgess@nhgri.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    His laboratory uses zebrafish as a model organism to identify and functionally characterize novel developmental genes in order to establish the genomics of human ear development.

    Animals : Zebra fish
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Developmental Genomics Section Genome Technology Branch, NHGRI


  • Daniel Butts

    Associate Professor

    Biology Biosciences Research Building (BRB) 1118

    (301) 405-9890

    dab@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    As we look at the world around us, we have immediate access to the composition of the visual scene into objects, as well as our relationship in space to those objects. Likewise, in listening to speech, we are aware of meaning, often without even paying attention to the words themselves. This natural facility makes it possible to move though the world, catch or avoid moving objects, and base immediate decisions on a detailed understanding of the world around us. Only secondarily might we note the particular color or composition of particular points in the visual scene, or the durations of certain vowel sounds, or other low-level visual or auditory features of the scene. Our brain processes sensory information much differently than computers do: a computer can easily store the hue and luminance of every pixel of an image, but even with the best available software it cannot parse an arbitrary natural image into its underlying elements. However, in the absence of larger conceptual theories of how the brain processes information, established techniques have revolved around studying sensory systems abilities to represent information rather than understand the computation that it performs. In order to study computation in the brain, it is necessary to both establish larger theories about what is being computed, and design experiments to link these larger theories to observable physiology. Research in the NeuroTheory Lab is concerned both with developing larger theories of system-level function in vision and audition, as well as working closely with neurophysiologists to design and perform experiments that can guide and/or validate these theories. As a necessary third goal, we also develop new analytical tools to facilitate these new experiments, as well as increase what can be learned from existing experiments.

    Animals :None
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    NeuroTheory Lab


  • Karen Carleton

    Professor

    Biology 2130 Bioscience Research Building

    301.405.6929 / 301.405.81

    kcarleto@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Evolution of visual systems and visual communication: genetics of visual system tuning; physical modeling of color signals and visual discrimination. African cichlid fishes serve as a model to explore how natural and sexual selection drive communication. Evolution of rod and cone phototransduction: tuning photoreceptor responsivity through evolution of protein structure and gene expression. A comparative genomic approach utilizing a diversity of vertebrates including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and agnathans.

    Animals :mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and agnathans.
    Campus Institute : Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Carleton Lab


  • Catherine Carr

    Distinguished University Professor

    UMD Biology 4227 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-6915

    cecarr@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    When sound reaches one ear before the other, the brain uses the resulting interaural time differences (ITDs) to localize the sound. The barn owl is a nocturnal hunter and a good model for how we localize sound and process temporal information in general. We have shown that ITDs are translated into location in space in the brainstem. Detection of these time differences depends upon two mechanisms of general significance to neurobiology, delay lines and coincidence detection. Incoming axons form delay lines to create maps of ITD in nucleus laminaris. Their postsynaptic targets act as coincidence detectors and fire maximally when the interaural time difference is equal but opposite to the delay imposed by the afferent axons. Current research is focused on models of delay line-coincidence detector circuit, on the assembly of the map of sound localization during development and on how such circuits evolve. All projects develop from initial behavioral observations into systems, cellular and molecular levels of analysis.

    Animals :Birds, Reptiles
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Carr Lab


  • Monita Chatterjee

    Director

    Auditory Prostheses & Perception Laboratory, Boystown National Research Hospital 55530th St., Omaha, NE 68131
    Research Interests :

    The APPL conducts research on various aspects of hearing with cochlear implants (CIs). Along the way, we are also learning a great deal about how the normal brain processes degraded sounds/speech. Specific current projects include i) studies of pitch/intonation/lexical tone perception by children and adults with CIs, as well as their normally hearing peers; ii) examining aspects of the auditory nerve response to electrical stimulation as reflected in perceptual measures; iii) how the CI listener processes multi-channel, complex electrical stimuli. Collaborations with Dr. Rochelle Newman at the University of Maryland and Dr. Deniz Baskent at the University of Groningen investigate various aspects of the perception of degraded speech by infants, toddlers and adults. In addition, in new collaborations with Dr. Yung-Song Lin at Chi-Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan, and Dr. Charles Limb at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, we are investigating the processing of voice-pitch information by early-implanted children who are native speakers of Chinese (Taiwan) and American English (US).

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Auditory Prostheses & Perception Lab


  • Lisa Cunningham

    Chief, Section on Sensory Cell Biology

    Porter Neuroscience Research Center 35A
    Research Interests :

    Our research is focused on the mechanosensory hair cells that are the receptor cells of hearing and balance. Specifically, we are interested in the molecular signals that regulate the survival, homeostasis, and death of these cells. Mammalian hair cells are terminally differentiated and are not regenerated when they are lost. Therefore, human hair cells must survive and function for up to a century (or longer) in order to transduce sound and head movement into the neural signals of hearing and balance throughout a normal lifespan. During this lengthy period of time, the hair cell may encounter multiple potentially-toxic stimuli, including exposure to excessive sound and/or exposure to therapeutic drugs with ototoxic side effects. Hair cells must be able to respond rapidly and effectively to these and other potentially-cytotoxic stimuli if they are to survive and continue to function.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

  • Robert Dooling

    Professor

    UMD Psychology 2123 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301 405 5925

    rdooling@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in the Laboratory of Comparative Psychoacoustics is aimed at understanding how animals communicate with one another using sound and whether there are parallels with how humans communicate with one another using speech and language. Birds such as songbirds and parrots, like humans, rely on hearing and learning to develop a normal vocal repertoire. We often study budgerigars (parakeets), canaries, zebra finches, and other small birds. For instance, we have specific projects on vocal learning and vocal development in budgerigars, the regeneration of auditory hair cells and recovery of hearing and the vocalizations in small birds following hearing damage, and the effect of noise on hearing. Other studies focus on how small birds localize sounds, how they perceive complex sounds such as bird vocalizations and human speech, and how the bird ear functions.

    Animals :Birds
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Laboratory of Comparative Psychoacoustics


  • Dennis Drayna

    Chief Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

    NIDCD 5 Research Court, Room 2B44

    301 402 4930

    drayna@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders is focused on identifying genetic variation in the molecular components of human communication systems. Our primary tools are genetic linkage and positional cloning studies, used to identify genes responsible for communication disorders in humans, including disorders of auditory pitch recognition, deficits in the human sense of bitter taste, and the speech disorder of stuttering.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Molecular Genetics


  • Carol Espy-Wilson

    Professor

    Electrical and Computer Engineering A.V. Williams 2205

    301 405 7411

    espy@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in SCL combines engineering and speech science to address issues in speech communication. One major effort is concerned with the development of several components of a speech recognition system based on phonetic features. In particular, there are projects focusing on the signal representation, lexical access and the development of a new paradigm for speech recognition. A second project is focusing on the improvement in quality and intelligibility of speech and the development of tools for speech enhancement. A third project is concerned with articulatory and acoustic modeling. The fourth project concerns speaker identification using a set of acoustic parameters automatically extracted from speech. We have ongoing work on the automatic extraction of such parameters from speech for both speaker and speech recognition purposes. Other research interests involve speech synthesis .

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Speech Communication Laboratory


  • Thomas Friedman

    Adjunct Professor NACS, Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics

    NIDCD, NACS 5 Research Court, Room 2A01
    Research Interests :

    The goal of the Laboratory of Molecular Genetics is to identify, clone and characterize the genes that contribute to communication disorders. The Laboratory of Molecular Genetics has three sections, the Section on Human Genetics, the Section on Gene Structure and Function, and the Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders. The Section on Human Genetics is studying the genes responsible for hereditary hearing impairment and hearing loss coupled with blindness (Usher syndrome). Improved understanding of the mutated genes will provide important information on hearing and brain processing. The identification of the relevant genes will also permit early and more accurate diagnosis for certain forms of hereditary hearing and communication impairments as well as loss of sight.

    Animals :Humans, Rodent
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of molecular genetics


  • Jonathan Fritz

    Research Scientist

    UMD Engineering 2202 A.V. Williams Bldg.

    301 405 6596

    ripple@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and The Institute for System Research, the Neural Systems Laboratory studies the functionality of the mammalian auditory system through a wide range of disciplines and techniques ranging from theoretical models to neurophysiological investigations and psychoacoustical experiments.

    Animals :Ferrets, Monkeys
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Neural Systems Laboratory


  • Sandra Gordon-Salant

    Professor

    UMD Hearing and Speech 0119 LeFrak Hall

    301-405-4225

    sgordon@hesp.umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The aging auditory system is characterized by anatomical alterations in peripheral and central structures. Aging is also accompanied by decline in cognitive processes. While many deficits in perception are attributed to peripheral hearing loss, there remain age-related alterations in processing of signals beyond those that are associated with sensitivity loss. The focus of this laboratory is investigation of the consequences of aging and hearing loss on auditory performance. Our work has shown that age-related deficits, independent of hearing loss, are primarily observed on measures of auditory temporal processing. The strategies employed include evaluation of behavioral performance on speech perception and psychoacoustic tasks, as well as electrophysiologic indices that alter stimulus timing or presentation rate.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    UMD Hearing Lab


  • Matthew Goupell

    Associate Professor

    Hearing and Speech Sciences 0119E LeFrak Hall

    301-405-8552

    goupell@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    We are interested in how people understand speech in challenging situations, where the speech signals are degraded. The signal degradation may come from the environment, such as being at a noisy cocktail party or being in a large cathedral. Or the degradation may be an intrinsic part of the listener, for example people who need a hearing aid or cochlear implant. This problem is related to how people localize sound sources. We perform psychoacoustical tests on humans with normal hearing, hearing impairments, or with cochlear implants and then try to understand the results with neural models. The majority of my work lately is concerned with people with cochlear implants, specifically those with two (bilateral) implants. Bilateral cochlear-implant users typically struggle to localize sounds and understand speech in noise. The signal presented with a cochlear implant is highly degraded with respect to spectral content and there are a myriad of challenges when trying to understand what information is truly presented to an implant user. The signal in one ear is likely to be very different from the other ear. Yet, bilateral implant users often learn to integrate this contradictory information somehow.

    Animals :human
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Auditory Perception and Modeling Lab


  • Kenneth Grant

    Senior Research Audiologist / Adjunct Professor

    Walter Reed National Military Medical Ctr/UMD College of Chemical&Life Sciences 1210 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 6885

    grant@tidalwave.net

    Research Interests :

    It's estimated that more than 46 million people in the US of all ages, races and gender, suffer some form of disordered communication. Of these, approximately 28 million have some degree of hearing loss. By far, the most frequent complaint made by people with hearing loss is their difficulty or inability to understand speech in noisy environments. The most effective way to address this problem is to watch the talkers face while he or she speaks. The process of deriving information from watching the movement of the lips, jaw, and other facial gestures during speech production, is know as speechreading. When speechreading and hearing are combined, the result is an extremely robust speech signal that is greatly resistant to noise and hearing loss. The mission of the Auditory-Visual Speech Recognition Laboratory is to identify the various perceptual processes involved in auditory-visual speech perception, to determine the abilities of individual patients to carry out these processes successfully, and to design intervention strategies incorporating modern signal processing technologies and training techniques to remedy any deficiencies that may be found. Laboratory studies typically involve the presentation of auditory, visual, and auditory-visual speech samples to subjects. The subjects task is to identify the speech samples by activating designated areas on a touch-screen terminal, writing with paper and pencil, or repeating back what they thought was said. Because speech recognition involves several levels of processing, from peripheral extraction of primary auditory and visual cues, to the utilization of linguistic knowledge and language experience for categorizing sounds and images into words and phrases, the speech samples used cover a broad range from nonsense syllables to connected speech (e.g. sentences and paragraphs). One of the unique features of the experiments conducted in this laboratory is the focus on individual differences in speech recog

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Auditory-Visual Speech Recognition Laboratory


  • Andrew Griffith

    Chief Otolaryngology Branch, Chief Molecultar Biology and Genetics Section Otolaryngology Branch

    NIDCD 5 Research Court, Room 1A-13
    Research Interests :

    Basic molecular biology and genetic research is carried out in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Section. Audiology Unit research activities include audiological and vestibular assessment of human subjects participating in clinical research protocols of the Otolaryngology Branch, the NIDCD, or other NIH Institutes and Centers.

    Animals :Humans, Rodent
    Campus Institute : National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Jens Herberholz

    Associate Professor

    Psychology 2123H Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 5902

    jherberh@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in my lab investigates the neural basis of animal behavior: We are interested in identifying and examining neural circuitry that underlies offensive and defensive aggression as well as decision-making and behavioral choice. We use crayfish as our primary animal model because they display easily quantifiable behavioral patterns, and they feature a nervous system of tractable complexity that is accessible for a variety of neurophysiological and neuropharmacological studies. Most social animals compete aggressively for resources such as food, shelter and mates. The early stages of an encounter between well-matched crayfish are marked by an aggressive escalation that can include strikes, aggressive posture, grappling with claws, and bouts of offensive tail-flips (Herberholz et al. 2001, Edwards & Herberholz 2005). At some point, fighting in crayfish is interrupted by an abrupt change in the agonistic behavior of one animal as it switches from aggressive to submissive behaviors. This switch marks the change in the dominance status of the animals and identifies the new subordinates (Herberholz et al. 2001). Dominant and subordinate crayfish then show clear differences in their behavior. The dominant animal displays a dominant posture, initiates approaches and attacks, constructs a shelter and claims first access to most resources, while the subordinate displays a submissive posture, retreats and escapes from the dominant, and is left to claim unwanted resources (Herberholz et al. 2001, Edwards et al. 2003, Herberholz et al. 2003, Song et al. 2006, Herberholz et al. 2007).

    Animals :crayfish
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    aboratory of Crustacean Neurobiology & Behavior


  • Ronna Hertzano

    Associate Professor

    School of Medicine 16 S Eutaw St., Suite 500
    Research Interests :

    Dr. Hertzano’s research interests are focused on revealing the cell type-specific genetic and genomic regulatory pathways which control inner ear development and its molecular signaling cascades in health and disease. This knowledge is essential not only for the identification of new deafness genes, but can be applied to drive stem cells into desired cell fates for therapeutics. Cell Type-Specific Transcriptional Cascades in Inner Ear Development: one of the missions of the LIEDG is to reveal cell type-specific genetic and genomic regulatory pathways which control inner ear development. To accomplish these goals the team successfully developed and validated protocols for cell type-specific analysis of the ear using fluorescent activated cell sorting, and continues to develop these protocols to extend them to additional cell types and species. For example, using this approach we identified Zeb1 and miR200b as key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal fate in the mouse inner ear (Hertzano et al. 2011, Kurima et al. 2011), and deciphered the mechanism of a mutation in the Zeb1 gene in the Twirler mutant mouse. Current projects focus on hair cell-specific regulatory pathways important for terminal differentiation and deciphering the molecular mechanisms underlying deafness as a result of mutations in hair cell-expressed transcription factors and miRNAs. Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Acquired Hearing Loss: while congenital hearing loss affects 1 in 1000 newborns, age related hearing loss afflicts that majority of the elderly population and noise induced hearing loss affects 5% of the population world-wide and is a major problem for veterans. In this project the LIEDG is taking a cell type-specific approach to interrogate the translatomes of adult inner ears as they are exposed to noise with and without treatment. Using advanced bioinformatic approaches our goal is to decipher the mechanisms underlying acquired hearing loss to develop targeted therapeutics.

    Animals :Mice, Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Inner Ear Developmental Genetics


  • Timothy Horiuchi

    Associate Professor

    Electrical and Computer Enginnering; Institute for Systems Research 2215 A.V. Williams Building

    301 405 7412

    timmer@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The lab's vision is to develop real-time neural models of the brain to understand how animals perceive, interact with, and learn about their environment. We are pursuing this by developing models of brains at the cellular, network, systems, and behavioral levels of abstraction and by testing these models in realistic sensory environments. Our current research is focused on the bat echolocation system, a system rich in interesting scientific questions and potential for commercial, industrial, and other applications. This is called the "Microchipoptera Project"

    Animals :bats, robots!
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Computational Sensorimotor Systems Laboratory


  • Barry Horwitz

    Chief, Section on Brain Imaging and Modeling Section, Voice, Speech and Language Branch

    NIDCD Building 10, Room 8S235B

    301 594 7755

    horwitz@mail.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    Current research focuses on understanding how the brain constructs networks of interacting regions (i.e., neural networks) to perform cognitive tasks, especially those associated with audition and language, and how these networks are altered in brain disorders. These issues are addressed by combining computational neuroscience techniques with functional neuroimaging data, obtained using fMRI, PET, or MEG. The network analysis methods allow us to evaluate how brain operations differ between tasks and between normal and patient populations. This research will allow us to ascertain which networks are dysfunctional, and the role neural plasticity plays in enabling compensatory behavior to occur. A unique aspect of our research is that most of the experiments we do are linked to our modeling, in that these experiments are performed to either acquire data for developing our models or else for testing them.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • William Idsardi

    Professor and Chair

    Linguistics 1417 Marie Mount Hall

    301 405 8376

    idsardi@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My research focuses on the mental representations and computations associated with speech.

    Animals :humans
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Dept. of Linguistics page


  • Bechara Kachar

    Chief Section on Structural Cell Biology, Chief Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics

    NIDCD Building 50, Room 4249 50 South Drive

    301 402 1600

    kacharb@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    The Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics (LCSD) seeks an integrated molecular understanding of the architecture, dynamics, function, and renewal of specialized cellular structures - in particular those underlying mechanosensory function of auditory and vestibular sensory cells. The long-term goal of the program is to develop a framework for understanding the different forms of loss of mechanosensory function and to explore opportunities for preventive and therapeutic interventions. The Section on Structural Cell Biology (SSCB) explores fundamental molecular-structure-function relationships using cell biological and molecular biological approaches coupled with cutting-edge electron microscopy and emerging live cell imaging techniques. Principal areas of current and future focus in the SSCB are: (1) Molecular characterization of the key structural elements and dynamic processes that contribute to the sensory-motor function of auditory and vestibular sensory cells. (2) To study how membrane/cytoskeletal assemblies such as stereocilia, intercellular junctions, and synapses are formed, how they regulate their size and shape, and how they undergo self-renewal while maintaining steady state structure, dynamic properties, and function. (3) Localization and characterization of the function of protein products of genes implicated in environmental, age-related, and inherited hearing loss.

    Animals :rodents, amphibian
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Cell Structure and Dynamics


  • Patrick Kanold

    Professor

    UMD Biology 1116 Bioscience Research Bldg.

    301 405 5741

    pkanold@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

     We are interested how experience in early life shapes brain function. Since neural circuits underlie brain function we analyze neural circuits in development but also in adult to understand how circuit differences can give rise to different abilities. By interfering with development, we aim to understand how disruption of early circuit function gives rise to neurological disease. To do this we use in vivo and in vitro physiological and imaging approaches such as single and multielectrode recordings, patch clamp recordings, laser-scanning photostimulation, 2-photon Ca-imaging of large networks, optogenetics, and computational modeling.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    The Kanold Lab


  • Matthew Kelley

    Chief, Developmental Neuroscience Section

    NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center, 35
    Research Interests :

    The overall goals of the Developmental Neuroscience Section are to identify the molecular and cellular factors that play a role in the development of the sensory epithelium of the mammalian cochlea (the organ of Corti). The organ of Corti is comprised of at least 6 distinct cell types that are arranged in highly conserved mosaic. The generation of a specific number of each cell type and the arrangement of these cell types into a regular pattern are essential for the normal perception of sound; however, our understanding of the factors that play a role in the development of this structure is extremely limited. Current research in the laboratory is focused on the mechanisms that control the number of cells that will develop with each distinct phenotype. Previous results have demonstrated that the number of cells that will develop as sensory hair cells is regulated through inhibitory interactions between neighboring cells. These results suggest that the possible cell fates within the cochlea may be arranged in a hierarchy and that as the number of cells that become specified to develop as a single phenotype increases, these cells then begin to produce inhibitory signals that force the remaining cells to develop with alternate fates. A second area of interest is the mechanisms that control overall cellular pattern within the cochlea. The cellular pattern of the mammalian cochlea is arranged in a gradient such that one type of sensory cell is located on one edge of the epithelium and a second type of sensory cell is located on the opposite edge. At both edges the sensory cells are arranged in distinct rows. The factors that specify the formation of this pattern are unknown; however, preliminary results suggest that the Wnt signaling pathway may play a role in the development of this pattern. Finally, recent work in the laboratory has begun to examine the molecular factors that regulate the development of planar polarity within the cochlea. All hair cells have a "V"-shap.

    Animals :Rodents
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Stefanie E. Kuchinsky

    Research Assistant Professor

    Maryland Neuroimaging Center, Room 1111

    301-405-8657

    skuchins@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    A common complaint among older adults is that understanding speech is effortful, particularly for individuals with hearing loss. Compared to younger adults, the extra effort that older adults devote to speech processing can hinder their ability to engage in other social, cognitive, and physical tasks, thus reducing their quality of life. My work aims to develop objective measures of effort in order to improve our ability to assess its impact on speech perception and to develop effective interventions. To investigate how effort varies across different listening conditions and individuals, I use behavioral, neuroimaging, eye tracking, and pupillometry methods in studies of younger and older adults.

     

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    http://www.mnc.umd.edu/faculty/kuchinsky-stefanie


  • Katrina MacLeod

    Associate Research Scientist

    Biology 4244 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-7174

    macleod@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    The fundamental problem of hearing is determining how a complex sound waveform can be interpreted by the brain as the auditory world around us. All information about an auditory scene is encoded in the auditory nerve, which projects to the cochlear nuclei in the brainstem. At this level, different types of information are extracted by different neural elements by using synaptic and cellular specializations that decode the nerve inputs. I am specifically interested in how timing and intensity cues are extracted at the auditory nerve to cochlear nucleus synapse and how short-term synaptic plasticity might contribute to this process. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings are made from acute slices of the chick auditory brainstem, a model in vitro system for the study of hearing. Physiological techniques are combined with quantitive modeling of synaptic plasticity and biophysical membrane properties.

    Animals :Birds
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    the MacLeod Lab


  • Cynthia F. Moss

    Professor

    Johns Hopkins Unversity 2123M Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-0353

    moss@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Research in the Auditory Neuroethology Lab includes studies of auditory information processing, spatial perception, memory and sensorimotor integration. Using the echolocating bat as a model system, our work combines acoustical, psychophysical, theoretical and neurophysiological research, with the goal of developing integrative theories on brain-behavior relations.

    Animals :Bats
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Auditory Neuroethology Laboratory (BATLAB)


  • Rochelle Newman

    Professor

    UMD Hearing and Speech 0100 LeFrak Hall

    301-405-4226

    rnewman1@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My research focuses on speech perception and word recognition, in both adults and young infants. Much of our work has been exploring infants' ability to perceive speech in noisy environments, such as multi-talker settings. We also explore such topics as how adult listeners adjust their perception for how an individual speaks, how infant listeners learn to generalize information across different talkers, and how early speech perception skills in infants relates to their later language development.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Language development and perception laboratories


  • Derek Paley

    Associate Professor

    Aerospace Engineering, NACS 3150 Glenn L. Martin Hall

    301-405-5757

    dpaley@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

     Research in nonlinear dynamics and controls, cooperative control of autonomous vehicles, adaptive sampling with mobile networks, and spatial modeling of biological groups.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory


  • Arthur Popper

    Emeritus Professor

    UMD Biology 2225 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301-405-1940

    apopper@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Though recently retired, I continue with an active research involvement as Professor Emeritus and Research Professor. My interests are primarily involved in the study of hearing by aquatic organisms, and particularly by fishes. However, over the years, my interests have transitioned from a focus on the structure, function, and evolution of hearing to my current focus on the effects of man-made noise in the aquatic environment on animals. This has resulted in a series of recently-published studies that have explored behavioral and physiological effects of increased ambient sounds on fish, including effects of very high level sounds produced by methodologies used in the exploitation of off-shore energy exploration and production. My specific current interests include understanding soundscapes and how alternations in soundscapes resulting from human activities ranging may impact the behavior and physiology of aquatic organisms. I am also involved in working with various groups in developing guidelines for the protection of aquatic organisms exposed to high levels of sound.

    Animals :Fish
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Aquatic Bioacoustics


  • Saima Riazuddin

    Associate Professor

    UMMC, Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery BioPark1, 800 West Baltimore St
    Research Interests :

    The focus of Dr. Riazuddin’s laboratory is investigating the genetic factors associated with hearing impairment and understanding the precise mechanism of various forms of hearing dysfunction using human pedigrees, mutant mouse models and zebrafish as tools. A complementary study in her lab is focused on identifying the modifier genes that can preclude the effect of disease causing mutations and the mechanism, by which they confer resistance to pathogenic mutation. The long-term goal of this research is to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of inherited hearing loss with the aim of discovering drugs or treatments to prevent this disease.

    Animals :Mouse, Zebrafish
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Shihab Shamma

    Professor

    UMD Engineering 2203 A.V.Williams Bldg.

    301 405 6842

    sas@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Part of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and The Institute for System Research, the Neural Systems Laboratory studies the functionality of the mammalian auditory system through a wide range of disciplines and techniques ranging from theoretical models to neurophysiological investigations and psychoacoustical experiments.

    Animals :Ferrets, Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Neural Systems Laboratory


  • Jonathan Simon

    Professor

    UMD Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering 2209 A.V.Williams Bldg.

    301-405-3645

    jzsimon@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Auditory Neural Computations and Representations; Magnetoencephalography and Cortical Physiology; Computational and Theoretical Neuroscience; Signal Processing in Biological Systems. Specific topics include: auditory scene analysis, the cocktail party problem, cortical representations of speech, and auditory attention.

    Animals :Humans
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :

    Computational Sensorimotor systems lab


  • Joshua Singer

    Associate Professor

    Biology, NACS Physiology; UMD Medical School 1112 BioScience Research Bldg

    301-405-9784

    jhsinger@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My laboratory studies a specialized group of neurons that compose a retinal circuit called the rod bipolar cell pathway (see figure at right). This pathway functions during night vision, and signaling within it begins when rods absorb light. Rods are the receptive cells that are most sensitive to light: single photons can activate rods and cause very small electrical signals to be generated within them. Electrical signals from rods are propagated first to rod bipolar cells, then to AII amacrine cells (AIIs), and finally to ganglion cells, the neurons that project to the brain.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

  • Sergei Sukharev

    Professor

    Biology 3216 Biology-Psychology Building

    301 405 6923

    sukharev@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Our current research focuses on bacterial mechanosensitive channels MscL and MscS, which function as osmolyte release valves in prokaryotes. These channels are good models for studies of basic principles of membrane-based sensory mechanisms because they gate directly in response to tension in the lipid bilayer, and their crystal structures are available.

    Animals :bacteria
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Sukharev Lab


  • Gerald Wilkinson

    C-CEBH Affiliated Faculty, Professor

    UMD Biology 2223 Biology-Psychology Bldg.

    301 405 6942

    wilkinson@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    Dr. Wilkinson conducts research on the evolution of social behavior, with emphasis on how genetic mechanisms may influence the outcome of evolution. Recent research in the lab addresses several controversial topics in animal behavior: sexual selection, genomic conflict, cooperation and communication. Stalk-eyed flies are being used as a model system for studying the evolution of sexually selected traits. Our recent empirical and theoretical results have surprisingly implicated meiotic drive as a potent evolutionary agent which can catalyze sexual selection. Using quantitative trait locus studies we have recently confirmed the prediction that sex-linked genes that influence a sexually selected trait are linked to genes causing sex chromosome meiotic drive. In addition, crosses between SE Asian populations are being conducted to determine if sex chromosome meiotic drive is involved in speciation. We are also using microarrays to find candidate genes involved in elongation of eyestalks. Bats in the neotropics and in the US are being studied in the lab and field to understand how communication mediates cooperation and social learning.

    Animals :Bats
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Lab


  • Doris Wu

    Chief Section on Sensory Cell Regeneration and Development Laboratory of Molecular Biology

    NIDCD/NIH 5 Research Ct., Rm 2B34

    301 402 4214

    wud@nidcd.nih.gov

    Research Interests :

    Humans and many animals rely on the inner ear, an intricate sensory organ, to hear and to maintain balance. Inner ear development is a complex process that is dependent on a cascade of molecular events, which occur in a precise temporal sequence. Any missteps in this process will most likely result in some degree of dysfunction affecting the abilities to hear and maintain balance. My laboratorys goal is to identify the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of this complex structure. Our focus is on identifying the tissues and signaling molecules that specify the three primary cell types (neural, sensory, and nonsensory) which make up the inner ear. We are also interested in the developmental mechanisms that dictate the spatial position and orientation of each of the inner ear components with respect to the overall body axes. To address these questions, we perform in ovo manipulations of chicken embryos and generate chicken and mouse models with genetic modifications.

    Animals :Rodents, birds
    Campus Institute :National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
    Lab :

    Laboratory of Molecular Biology


  • David Yager

    Associate Professor

    Psychology, NACS BPS 2123G

    301-405-7228

    ddyager@umd.edu

    Research Interests :

    My lab studies the evolution of auditory systems. We use the praying mantis because of its unique cyclopean auditory system that is linked to a strong, complex, stereotyped evasive response. A particular focus is on how the CNS changes during the evolution of a sensory system to use new sensory information to control adaptive behaviors. We combine neurophysiological and behavioral experiments with a broadly comparative approach.

    Animals :Insects
    Campus Institute :Affiliated UM
    Lab :

    Insect Auditory Evolution


  • Catherine Weisz

    Investigator / Acting Chief

    Section on Neuronal Circuitry NIH / NIDCD Porter Neuroscience Research Center

    301-827-9014

    Research Interests :

    We study synaptic inputs and outputs of brainstem olivocochlear efferent neurons that project to the cochlea using mouse models. Projects in the lab use the techniques of whole cell patch clamp recordings from auditory neuron somata and dendrites, combined with optogenetics and imaging of neuronal activity. Using these tools we dissect the synaptic inputs to the olivocochlear efferents in the brainstem, to determine how they are activated and modulated. Projects in lab also examine how the activity of the efferent neurons changes after noise trauma, or during disease. Parallel experimentation investigates the complex outputs of olivocochlear efferent neurons in the cochlea, using dendritic recording techniques from spiral ganglion afferent neurons and hair cells, paired with imaging techniques. The in-depth investigation of synaptic circuitry of olivocochlear efferent neurons will give insight into roles that the neurons play in both the healthy and diseased cochlea, and will be used to provide targets for therapeutic manipulation of the efferent system.

    Animals :
    Campus Institute :
    Lab :