Lizabeth Romanski, Ph.D.

Lizabeth Romanski, Ph.D.

Contact Information

University of Rochester Medical Center
School of Medicine and Dentistry
601 Elmwood Ave, Box 603
Rochester, NY 14642

Lab Information

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Research Bio

While auditory and visual information are combined in many sites of the human brain, the combining of face and vocal information for effective communication has been shown to occur in specialized regions of the temporal and frontal lobes. Work in my laboratory is focused on how the ventral prefrontal cortex represents high level auditory information and the neuronal mechanisms which underlie integration of complex auditory and visual information, primarily face and vocal information during communication. Studies in our laboratory have shown that neurons within specific regions of the ventral prefrontal cortex are robustly responsive to complex sounds including species-specific vocalizations, while previous studies have shown that adjacent ventral prefrontal regions are selectively responsive to faces.

We have shown that neurons within ventral prefrontal cortex are multisensory and respond to both faces and to the corresponding vocalizations. We are also interested in the factors that affect the integration of dynamic faces and vocalizations in the frontal lobe including temporal coincidence, stimulus congruence, as well as the emotional expression conveyed in the face-vocalization and the identity of the speaker. Collaborations with University of Rochester faculty are aimed at characterizing sensory integration deficits in children with autism and the role the frontal lobe may play in autism spectrum disorders. Further analysis of the neural mechanisms which support face and voice integration in non-human primates may help us to understand the mechanisms underlying social communication and social cognition.

Awards & Honors (Local)

Excellence in Medical Research Incentive Award | University of Rochester 2006
Whitehall Foundation Research Award. 2000
Cure Autism Now Young Investigator Award. 1998 - 2000
McDonnell-Pew Postdoctoral Training Grant in Cognitive Neuroscience. 1993 - 1996
Donald B. Lindsley Prize in Behavioral Neuroscience, | (The Grass Foundation/Society for Neuroscience). 1992
Vincent DiVigneau Prize | Cornell University Medical College, New York. 1991
Vincent DiVigneau Prize | Cornell University Medical College, New York. 1990
Henry Rutgers Academic Excellence Undergraduate Research Award 1984
Henry Rutgers Academic Scholarship 1980 - 1984

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 44 available »

2014 Aug 20
Diehl MM, Romanski LM. "Responses of prefrontal multisensory neurons to mismatching faces and vocalizations." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2014 Aug 20; 34(34):11233-43.
2013 Nov
Plakke B, Diltz MD, Romanski LM. "Coding of vocalizations by single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex." Hearing research. 2013 Nov; 305:135-43. Epub 2013 Jul 26.
2013 Jul 17
Polosecki P, Moeller S, Schweers N, Romanski LM, Tsao DY, Freiwald WA. "Faces in motion: selectivity of macaque and human face processing areas for dynamic stimuli." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2013 Jul 17; 33(29):11768-73.
2012 Jul 12
Romanski LM, Hwang J. "Timing of audiovisual inputs to the prefrontal cortex and multisensory integration." Neuroscience. 2012 Jul 12; 214:36-48. Epub 2012 Apr 16.
2012 Jun 26
Romanski LM. "Integration of faces and vocalizations in ventral prefrontal cortex: implications for the evolution of audiovisual speech." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012 Jun 26; 109 Suppl 1:10717-24. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Current Appointments

Associate Chair - Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy (SMD)
Associate Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD) - Primary
Associate Professor - Department of Brain/Cognitive Sciences RC (RC)
Associate Professor - Center for Visual Science A&S (RC)


PhD | Neurobiology | Cornell Univ Medical College1992
BA | Psychology | Rutgers State University1984

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Post-doctoral Fellow (Mentor: Dr. Patricia Goldman-Rakic), Yale University, New Haven, CT. 1996