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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

Lab Information

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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."

Research Bio

Research Overview:

We combine neurophysiological, behavioral, and computational modeling techniques towards our goal of understanding neural mechanisms underlying the perception of complex sounds. Our work now includes studies of both listeners with normal hearing ability and those with sensorineural hearing loss. 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 three specific problems: detection of acoustic signals in background noise, detection of fluctuations in the amplitude of sounds, and neural coding of vowels. 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, fluctuations of signals, and coding of vowels, our goal is to direct novel strategies for signal processors to preserve, restore, or enhance these cues for listeners with hearing loss.

Selected Relevant Recent Publications:

Davidson, S.A., Gilkey, R.H., Colburn, H.S. and Carney, L.H. (2006), Binaural detection with narrowband and wideband reproducible noise maskers: III. Models for monaural and diotic detection, J.Acoust. Soc. Am. 119:2258-2275
Anzalone, M.C., Calandruccio, L., Doherty, K.A., Carney, L.H., (2006), Determination of the Potential Benefit of Time-Frequency Gain Manipulation, Ear & Hearing. 27: 480-492.
Nelson, P.C., and Carney, L. H. (2006) Cues for masked amplitude-modulation detection, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 120, 978-990.
Tan and Carney (2006), Predictions of Formant-Frequency Discrimination in Noise Based on Model Auditory-Nerve Responses, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 120:1435-1445.
Gai, Y. and Carney, L.H. (2006) Temporal measures and neural strategies for detection of tones in noise based on responses in anteroventral cochlear nucleus, J. Neurophysiol., 96:2451-2464.
Nelson, P.C. and Carney, L. H. (2007) Rate and timing cues for neural detection and discrimination of amplitude-modulated tones in the awake rabbit inferior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 97:522-539.
Nelson, P.N. Ewert, S.D., Carney, L.H., and Dau, T. (2007). Comparison of intensity discrimination, increment detection, and comodulation masking release in the audio- and envelope-frequency domains, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 121:2168-2181.
Deshmukh, O., Espy-Wilson, C., and Carney, L.H. (2007) Speech enhancement using the modified phase-opponency model, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 121: 3886-3898.
Calandruccio, L., Doherty, K.A., Carney, L.H., Kikkeri, H.N. (2007), Perception of Temporally Processed Speech by Listeners with Hearing Impairment, Ear & Hearing. 28: 512-523
Gai, Y., L.H. Carney, K.S. Abrams, F. Idrobo, J. M. Harrison, R. H. Gilkey (2007) Detection of Tones in Reproducible Noise Maskers by Rabbits and Comparison to Detection by Humans, JARO, 8: 1525-3961.
Gai, Y., L.H. Carney (2008) Influence of Inhibitory Inputs on Rate and Timing of Responses in the Anteroventral Cochlear Nucleus, J. Neurophysiol., 99:1077-1095.
Gai, Y., L.H. Carney (2008) Statistical Analyses of Temporal Information in Auditory Brainstem Responses to Tones in Noise: Correlation Index and Spike-distance Metric, JARO, 9:373-387.

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

Recent Journal Articles

Showing the 5 most recent journal articles. 145 available »

2016 Oct 20
Henry KS, Abrams KS, Forst J, Mender MJ, Neilans EG, Idrobo F, Carney LH. "Midbrain Synchrony to Envelope Structure Supports Behavioral Sensitivity to Single-Formant Vowel-Like Sounds in Noise." Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO. 2016 Oct 20; Epub 2016 Oct 20.
2016 Apr
Henry KS, Neilans EG, Abrams KS, Idrobo F, Carney LH. "Neural correlates of behavioral amplitude modulation sensitivity in the budgerigar midbrain." Journal of neurophysiology. 2016 Apr; 115(4):1905-16. Epub 2016 Feb 03.
Carney LH, Kim DO, Kuwada S. "Speech Coding in the Midbrain: Effects of Sensorineural Hearing Loss." Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 2016 894:427-35.
2015 Aug
Mao J, Koch KJ, Doherty KA, Carney LH. "Cues for Diotic and Dichotic Detection of a 500-Hz Tone in Noise Vary with Hearing Loss." Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO. 2015 Aug; 16(4):507-21. Epub 2015 May 15.
2015 Apr 1
Kim DO, Zahorik P, Carney LH, Bishop BB, Kuwada S. "Auditory distance coding in rabbit midbrain neurons and human perception: monaural amplitude modulation depth as a cue." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2015 Apr 1; 35(13):5360-72.

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Neuroscience (SMD)
Professor - Department of Biomedical Engineering (RC)


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