Experience shapes how we hear the world. This auditory perceptual learning comes about not only through knowledge gained about what to listen for (i.e., changes in listening strategies), but also through long-term changes in the way sounds are processed in the brain. In the ALC lab at K-State, behavioral, electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, and connectionist modeling methods are used to study the processes involved in auditory perceptual learning. We also use these methods to study the processes involved in coping with difficult listening scenarios (e.g., listening in noise), and in the development of man-machine interfaces for performance augmentation. We believe this work will lead to more effective methods for improving human auditory capacities (for rehabilitative or other reasons). Some questions of particular interest to us are:
- How do different training regimens impact learning?
- How does learning generalize to untrained sounds and tasks?
- How does learning impact post-perceptual processes (e.g., memory for sounds; confidence in performance)?
- How do EEG spectral dynamics correlate with learning and effortful listening?
- How well can auditory performances be predicted by single-trial EEGs?
- Under what circumstances does the prestimulus state of the brain (e.g., as reflected by EEG phase or power features) impact auditory performance?
- What learning processes are responsible for well-established auditory learning phenomena (e.g., benefits of fading, the peak shift effect, learning to detect tones in noise)?
See our projects page to view specifics on some active lab projects that explore these questions.
The ALC lab is currently seeking graduate students and undergraduate research assistants. If interested, please contact us.