School seminar series - Creating a Sense of Auditory Space – From Biophysics to Behaviour

Professor David McAlpine, Professor of Hearing, Language and the Brain & Director of Hearing Research, Macquarie University, NSW

Most sounds have an ‘out-thereness’ - they appear to originate from somewhere, and are usually attributed to the specific source, or sources, from which they originate. Nevertheless, unlike vision or touch, for example, the sensory end organs in the sense of hearing – the cochlea in the inner ear - contain no specialized receptors for determining the location of sound sources. To this end, cues to the location of a source must be computed from information that, of itself, is not spatial. This seminar will demonstrate how a sense of space emerges in the auditory brain—from the biophysical processes necessary to extract spatial information with precision of a few tens of microseconds, to our ability (or not) to perform ‘cocktail party listening’. It will also discuss how cochlear implants—devices that replace the function of the inner ear entirely—can be used to create a sense of space in individuals who have lost, or never experienced, the sense of auditory space.

Date & time

12–1pm 17 March 2017


The Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Building 131 Garran Road, ANU


Host: Professor Greg Stuart


 Danielle Ursino
 +61 2 6125 3926

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