Skip to main content
URMC / Labs / Carney Lab / Honors & News




Professor Carney receives Kearns Faculty Mentoring and Teaching Award for commitment to first-generation, minority students

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Five University of Rochester faculty mentors are the inaugural recipients of a new mentorship award from the University's David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity.

The David T. Kearns Faculty Mentoring and Teaching awards "recognize outstanding faculty members who excel at mentoring and teaching low-income, first-generation, and/or underrepresented minority students who participate in Kearns programs," says Anthony Plonczynski-Figueroa, director of operations for the Kearns Center. "All of these faculty members have shown an especially strong commitment to these students."

Two of the faculty members -- Laurel Carney, the Marylou Ingram Professor in Biomedical Engineering, and Roman Sobolewski, professor of electrical and computer engineering -- are being recognized for their mentorship of University undergraduates who do research each summer through the center's Xerox Engineering Research Fellows and the Ronald E. McNair program. The center also sponsors or helps administer three National Science Foundation-funded REU (research experience for undergraduates) programs that bring students to Rochester from other universities for summer research.

The other faculty members -- Maya Abtahian, an assistant professor of linguistics; Mark Buckley, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering; and Douglas Kelley, associate professor of mechanical engineering -- are being recognized for their work with the center's pre-college programs: Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, and Talent Search.

Read More: Professor Carney receives Kearns Faculty Mentoring and Teaching Award for commitment to first-generation, minority students

Professor Carney receives renewed NIH funding

Monday, July 15, 2019

Congratulations to Professor Laurel Carney on the renewal of her NIH R01 for her project, "Auditory Processing of Complex Sounds." The Carney Lab hypothesizes that midbrain sensitivity to neural amplitude and frequency fluctuations in peripheral responses provides a robust representation of complex sounds, including speech. Aim 1 tests this hypothesis with physiological and behavioral studies of midbrain responses to stimuli that combine these cues, including "designer" stimuli with conflicting cues to determine how they may interact. These results will be used to test and refine a new computational model for midbrain responses with sensitivity to these cues. Aim 2 tests the hypothesis with physiological responses of midbrain neurons to voiced speech, to directly test model predictions based on characterization of each neuron's sensitivity to these cues. Understanding the role in speech coding of the amplitude and frequency fluctuations in peripheral responses is clinically significant because these fluctuations are vulnerable to SNHL. In Aim 3, we will test the hypothesis that amplitude and frequency fluctuations can be manipulated in synthetic speech to influence intelligibility in human listeners with or without SNHL, in quiet and in noise. Preliminary results from modeling, physiological, and behavioral studies support the proposed hypotheses. Ultimately, our goal is to extend this approach to manipulate fluctuation contrasts in running speech, to effectively "correct" sound for the impaired ear.