Georgetown Institute for Cognitive and Computational Sciences
Annual rept. 30 Sep 96-15 Nov 97
NATIONAL BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATIONWASHINGTON DC
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GICCS faculty has begun a major initiative to elucidate the complex mechanisms of higher auditory processing. Species with specialized hearing, such as bats, are used as models for complex sound processing and compared to those using cats and primates, which also use acoustic signals as a primary means of communication. Parallel research in humans using functional brain imaging and cognitive psychology examine how the human brain deals with complex sounds, particularly those relating to speech. These studies address not only normal language processing but also examine disorders of speechlanguage, including developmental and acquired dyslexias. Understanding and modifying brain plasticity represents another major research area. Investigators use tools from cellularmolecular neurobiology and from systems neuroscience, to study plasticity after acute or chronic brain injury as well as after early vision or hearing loss. This includes development of novel pharmacological strategies to limit brain damage and to enhance cognitive function after injury or neurodegeneration. Brain magnetic resonance techniques including functional imaging are also used. Sophisticated computational methods are used to model sensory processing based upon experimental studies. Predictions based upon mathematical modeling are evaluated in subsequent laboratory experiments.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Anatomy and Physiology