Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 2 hours / session

Course Topics

  • Dorsal Cochlear Nucleus: Signal Processing, Multisensory Integration and Plasticity
  • Reflexes and Descending Systems
  • Cell Types and Neural Circuits in the Brainstem
  • Quantitative Approaches to the Study of Neural Coding
  • Thalamo-cortical Organization and Processing
  • Speech Motor Control
  • Neuroimaging Correlates of Human Auditory Behavior
  • Cortical Representation of Language
  • Student Initiated Topics

Who should take this course?

Anyone interested in deepening their understanding of the role of the brain in speech and hearing. For students in the Harvard-MIT Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology Program, the course is an elective normally taken after the core courses HST.723 - Neural Coding and Perception of Sound, HST.718 - Anatomy of Speech and Hearing and 6.541J / HST.710J - Speech Communication. It is also appropriate for students in Brain and Cognitive Sciences or other departments who have a strong background in the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of sensory and motor systems. Students unsure of their background should consult one of the instructors.

How does the course work?

Much of the learning is done by topic discussions of scientific papers. Typically, a topic begins with a lecture giving an overview of the topic. Then, 3-6 topic papers are read and discussed in class under the leadership of a student. Two of the topics are proposed by students and selected by a competitive process.

Grade and Assignments

Your grade will be based approximately on the following:

Paper Presentations, Discussion Leading and Class Participation 65%
Written Topic Proposal and Oral Topic Presentation 35%

Selected Bibliography

Ehret, G., and R. Romand. The Central Auditory System. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1996. ISBN: 9780195096842.

Oertel, D., R. R. Fay, and A. N. Popper. Integrative Functions in the Mammalian Auditory Pathway. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2002. ISBN: 9780387989037.

Popper, A. N., and R. R. Fay. The Mammalian Auditory Pathway: Neurophysiology. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1992. ISBN: 9780387978017.

Webster, D. B., A. N. Popper, and R. R. Fay. The Mammalian Auditory Pathway: Neuroanatomy. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1992. ISBN: 9780387976785.

Hawkins, H. L., T. A. McMullen, A. N. Popper, and R. R. Fay. Auditory Computation. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 1995. ISBN: 9780387978437.