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Laurel H. Carney, Ph.D.

Contact Information

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

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

Professional Bio


Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA S.B., 1983 Electrical Engineering
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, M.S. 1985 Electrical Engineering
University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, Ph.D. 1989 Electrical Engineering

Positions and Employment:

1991-1997 Assistant Professor, Boston University, Department of Biomedical Engineering
1997-2001 Associate Professor, Boston University, Department of Biomedical Engineering
1998-2001 Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, BU, Department of Biomedical Engineering
1999-2002 Associate Editor, Physiological Acoustics, Journal of the Acoustical Society
2001-2007 Professor, Syracuse University, Departments of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
2001-Present Associate Editor, Journal of Neuroscience
2007-Present Professor, University of Rochester, Departments of Biomedical Engineering, and Neurobiology & Anatomy


2006 - Elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, "For contributions to the mathematical modeling and empirical characterization of the mammalian auditory system."
2002 - Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, "For contributions to an integrated understanding of the physiology and psychophysics of hearing."

Patient Care Bio

Research Overview:

We combine neurophysiological, behavioral, and computational modeling techniques towards our goal of understanding neural mechanisms underlying the perception of complex sounds. Most of our work is focused on hearing in listeners with normal hearing ability. We are also interested in applying the results from our laboratory to the design of physiologically based signal-processing strategies to aid listeners with hearing loss.
We are currently studying two specific problems: detection of acoustic signals in background noise, and detection of fluctuations in the amplitude of sounds. These problems are of interest because they are tasks at which the healthy auditory system excels, but they are situations that can present great difficulty for listeners with hearing loss. We study the psychophysical limits of ability in these tasks, and we also study the neural coding and processing of these sounds using stimuli matched to those of our behavioral studies. Computational modeling helps bridge the gap between our behavioral and physiological studies. For example, using computational models derived from neural population recordings, we make predictions of behavioral abilities that can be directly compared to actual behavioral results. The cues and mechanisms used by our computational models can be manipulated to test different hypotheses for neural coding and processing.
By identifying the cues involved in the detection of signals in noise and fluctuations of signals, our goal is to direct novel strategies for signal processors to preserve, restore, or enhance these cues for listeners with hearing loss.

Awards & Honors (Local)

BME Faculty Member of the Year | Awarded by Students | University of Rochester 2010
Professor of the Year | Hajim School, University of Rochester Student Association 2010 - 2011
Elected Fellow | American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering 2006
Elected Fellow | Acoustical Society of America 2002
Outstanding Professor of the Year Award | Boston University, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering 2001
Outstanding Professor of the Year Award | Boston University College of Engineering 1995
Young Investigator Award | The Whitaker Foundation 1992 - 1995
Rose Neuroscience Award | University of Wisconsin-Madison 1990

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)


PhD | Electrical Engineering | Univ Wisconsin-Madison1989
MS | Electrical Engineering | Univ Wisconsin-Madison1985
BS | Electrical Engineering | Mass Inst Technology1983