Dr. Claude Alain, Univ of Toronto
Neural Dynamics of Auditory Scene Analysis
Auditory scene analysis is a dynamic process that involves extracting acoustical features from the environment and grouping those based on their similarity and proximity into meaningful objects. It relies on neural dynamics and computational properties of the auditory system and uses higher order cognitive and mnemonic processes that reflect our knowledge of the auditory environment. In the past decade, there has been an increasing interest in using oscillatory brain activity as a metric of auditory scene analysis. Here, we will review and discuss research that have examined oscillatory brain activity during the segregation of concurrent sounds as well as activity related to the sequential segregation of concurrent sound sequences such as sentences from a single talker in the midst of background noise. We will also discuss how brain dynamics can be used to understand the neural mechanisms enabling speech-in-noise comprehension and help solve the "cocktail party problem."