Natural Sounds & Neural Coding Laboratory

Department of Biomedical Engineering
44 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215
Principal Investigator: Kamal Sen

Visit the Natural Sounds & Neural Coding Laboratory website for more information.

How do neurons in the brain encode complex natural sounds? What are the neural substrates of selectivity and discrimination of different categories of natural sounds? How are these substrates shaped by learning?

The Natural Sounds & Neural Coding Laboratory investigates these questions in the model system of the songbird. We use electrophysiological techniques to record neural responses from hierarchical stages of auditory processing. We apply theoretical methods from such areas as statistical signal processing, systems theory, probability theory, information theory, and pattern recognition to characterize how neurons in the brain encode natural sounds. We also construct computational models to understand the processing of natural sounds both at the single neuron and the network level, to model neural selectivity and discrimination, and to explore the role of learning in shaping the neural code.