Auditory Scene Analysis


CREd Library, November 2016, doi:10.1044/cred-pvd-c16002


pexels-photo-374866Standard formation and deviance detection are the two distinct processes
which are essential for generating the mismatch negativity (MMN) component,
an event-related brain response associated with regularity violation (Sussman,

Huizhen Tang, PhD is currently investigating the effect of attention on these two processes in an auditory streaming pattern violation paradigm in which high and low tone streams compete for perception and attention.



How does the representation of sound in the brain change in older adults with normal hearing?

Aging adults with normal hearing often have difficulty listening to one sound stream when there are competing sound sources. However, the reason for this difficulty is not fully understood.

Dr. Elizabeth Dinces is currently leading the laboratory’s investigation into the decreased ability to segregate and identify events within a complex mixture of sounds with age. Results from this work have recently been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience!

Dinces, E., & Sussman, E. (2017). Attention and auditory scene analysis in aging. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Listening in Noisy Environments


In a noisy listening environment how does the brain process background sounds?

The world is noisy and to listen to one sound amidst the many in our everyday environments requires attention. Attention helps you focus on sounds relevant to you and  facilitate perception. The degree to which ignored environmental cues are processed, however, is debated. Understanding how unattended sound information is organized and processed has implications for our understanding of how individuals navigate and communicate in complex auditory environments – like your favorite café.

Renee Symonds is currently investigating how the brain processes sounds that compete for attention in noisy listening environments to answer questions about the impact of unattended sounds on successful listening in noise.