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Laurel H. Carney, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

Biography

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.

Professional Background

Education:

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

Honors:

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

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.

Credentials

Faculty Appointments

Education

1989
PhD | Univ Wisconsin-Madison
Electrical Engineering

1985
MS | Univ Wisconsin-Madison
Electrical Engineering

1983
BS | Mass Inst Technology
Electrical Engineering

Awards

2010 - 2011
Professor of the Year
Location: Hajim School, University of Rochester Student Association

2010
BME Faculty Member of the Year
Sponsor: Awarded by Students
Location: University of Rochester

2006
Elected Fellow
Sponsor: American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering

2002
Elected Fellow
Sponsor: Acoustical Society of America

2001
Outstanding Professor of the Year Award
Sponsor: Boston University, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering

1995
Outstanding Professor of the Year Award
Sponsor: Boston University College of Engineering

1992 - 1995
Young Investigator Award
Sponsor: The Whitaker Foundation

1990
Rose Neuroscience Award
Sponsor: University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Publications

Journal Articles

6/2017
Salimi N, Zilany MS, Carney LH. "Modeling Responses in the Superior Paraolivary Nucleus: Implications for Forward Masking in the Inferior Colliculus." Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology : JARO.. 2017 Jun 0; 18(3):441-456. Epub 2017 Jan 17.

2/2017
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.. 2017 Feb 0; 18(1):165-181. Epub 2016 Oct 20.

4/2016
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 0; 115(4):1905-16. Epub 2016 Feb 03.

Books & Chapters

2013
Chapter Title: Detection Thresholds for Amplitude Modulations of Tones in Budgerigar, Rabbit and Human
Book Title: Basic Aspects of Hearing: Physiology and Perception
Author List: Carney, L.H., A.D. Ketterer, K.S. Abrams, D.M. Schwarz, F. Idrobo
Edited By: B.C.J. Moore, R.D. Patterson, I. Winter, R.P. Carlyon, and H.E. Gockel
Published By: Springer2013 in New York

2012
Chapter Title: "Chapter 5. Peripheral anatomy and physiology – 8th nerve"
Book Title: Translational Perspectives in Hearing Science
Author List: Carney, L.H.
Edited By: K. Tremblay and B Burkard
Published By: Wiley2012

2010
Chapter Title: Peripheral anatomy and physiology – 8th nerve,
Book Title: Translational Perspectives in Hearing Science
Author List: Carney, L.H.
Edited By: K. Tremblay and B Burkard
Published By: Wiley2010

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