Institute of Neuroscience

Auditory Cognition

Auditory Cognition

Auditory cognition (the mind's ear) describes a group of processes by which the brain makes sense of the sound world. We study the normal processes and how these go wrong in brain disorders.

We study the normal perception of complex sound relevant to the analysis of speech, music and environmental sounds and the brain bases for this. We study the brain bases using functional imaging with functional MRI and magnetoencephalography and depth electrode recordings in neurosurgical patients. The work concerns auditory perception and involves the auditory system in the brainstem and auditory cortex. But auditory cognition also involves attention, memory and emotional responses and requires many brain systems that are not conventionally considered parts of the auditory brain.

We also study the effect of brain disorders on auditory cognition. A number of disorders are associated with deficient auditory cognition including common developmental disorders (e.g. tone deafness), acquired disorders (e.g. stroke) and degenerative disorders (e.g. dementia). Tinnitus and auditory hallucinations are derangements of auditory cognition.


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