Sensation And Perception

Studies in these fields focus on how the brain generates a representation of the world around us, combining incoming perceptual information with memory that enables us to act and respond.

One team of ELSC researchers is scrutinizing the brains of visually-impaired people, demonstrating how brain areas that are normally used for sight are rewired to enable better memory in the blind. This type of brain reorganization – where brain areas acquire new functions – has important implications for the possibility of neuronal regeneration after brain damage.

One recent computational model helps explain how networks of auditory neurons can efficiently decode human speech under conditions of varying speed. This research may lead to improvements in speech-recognition technology, as well as create innovative treatments for a variety of hearing related problems.

Additional research has shown that people can learn to recognize shapes by means of especially designed “soundscapes,” activating shape recognition areas in the brain that are usually only activated when a shape is perceived visually. This research shows that it is essentially possible to “see” even without sight.

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