Who I Am

I am a Professor in the Department of Neuroscience at Georgetown University Medical Center, Director of the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition, and Co-Director of the CNE.

I am a neuroscientist, interested in the brain and its plasticity during development and aging. For well over a decade now, I have worked to shed light on such topics as how the human brain understands speech and music, why most animals can’t talk, and how the brain is changed by hearing loss and tinnitus.

My research investigates the functional organization and plasticity of the cerebral cortex, with special emphasis on the neural substrates of audition in humans and nonhuman primates.

A Selection of My Work

Maps and streams in the auditory cortex: nonhuman primates illuminate human speech processing

Dysregulation of Limbic and Auditory Networks in Tinnitus

Frontostriatal Gating of Tinnitus and Chronic Pain

An Energy Costly Architecture of Neuromodulators for Human Brain Evolution and Cognition

Featured Cover Article: Auditory-limbic Interactions In Chronic Tinnitus

Tuning Out the Noise: Limbic-Auditory Interactions in Tinnitus

My Research

My research interests are centered on the functional organization and plasticity of the cerebral cortex. Research in the Laboratory of Integrative Neuroscience and Cognition (LINC) focuses on the neural basis of auditory perception and auditory- motor integration in speech and music.

These studies are performed using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in humans, with parallel studies conducted in nonhuman primates. This work is intended to lead to a deeper understanding of brain function and dysfunction in auditory processing and speech disorders, to include aphasia, agnosia, and apraxia of speech.
My research on hearing loss and tinnitus is aimed at understanding the brain mechanisms of this wide-spread disorder, and at the development of more intelligently designed hearing aids and neural prostheses.

My laboratory is also interested in the effects of sensory deprivation during brain development, relating to the question of how the brain of individuals with early blindness or deafness is adaptively reorganized through sensory substitution.

These studies of brain plasticity also have relevance for the understanding of degenerative diseases of the brain, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

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