Attention at the cocktail party: Neural bases and computational strategies for auditory scene analysis

Mounya Elhilali

Johns Hopkins
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 12:00pm
560 Evans Hall

The perceptual organization of sounds in the environment into coherent objects is a feat constantly facing the auditory system. It manifests itself in the everyday challenge faced by humans and animals alike to parse complex acoustic information arising from multiple sound sources into separate auditory streams. While seemingly effortless, uncovering the neural mechanisms and computational principles underlying this remarkable ability remain a challenge for both the experimental and theoretical neuroscience communities. In this talk, I discuss the potential role of neuronal tuning in mammalian primary auditory cortex in mediating this process. I also examine the role of mechanisms of attention in adapting this neural representation to reflect both the sensory content and the changing behavioral context of complex acoustic scenes.