Creating a Sense of Auditory Space: ARC Laureate Workshop

Date: Monday 23 October and Tuesday 24 October 2017

Location: Level 1 Lecture Theatre, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University

Please register by 18 October 2017 to

Binaural hearing, particularly the ability to detect small differences in the timing of sounds at the two ears (interaural time differences, ITDs) underpins the ability to localize sound sources, and is important for decoding complex spatial listening environments into separate objects – a critical factor in “cocktail-party listening”. The relevance of binaural hearing to communication in every-day listening situations is increasingly recognized in therapeutic interventions; for example, children born deaf now receive bilateral cochlear implants.

Despite its importance in key listening tasks, however, brain mechanisms responsible for spatial listening remain poorly understood (certainly compared with visual spatial processing), and the potential benefits of binaural hearing for users of hearing aids and cochlear implants slow to be realized. Establishing how binaural hearing is generated in the auditory brain is a key goal of scientists, engineers and clinicians encompassing disciplines as diverse as acoustics and cognitive science.

This two-day workshop brings together global leaders in the field of binaural and spatial hearing—spanning expertise in human spatial listening, brain-imaging techniques for assessing binaural performance, animal physiology & neural modelling, and therapeutic interventions such as bilateral cochlear implantation—to discuss the state-of-the-art and the way forward if we are to understand how the brain generates a sense of auditory space, and how that spatial processing might be restored in individuals with hearing problems.

Program – Day 1 – Monday 23 October 2017

0915-0930 Registration
0930-0945 David McAlpine, Macquarie University
Welcome, Introduction, Overview
0945-1015 Mathias Dietz, The University of Western Ontario
Missing MSO hypothesis in case of electric stimulation
1015-1035 Jaime Undurraga Lucero, Macquarie University
Neural representation of interaural time differences in the human brain
1035-1055 Jorg Buchholz, Macquarie University, National Acoustic Laboratories
More realistic assessment of spatial benefits provided by bilateral cochlear implants
1055-1120 Morning Tea/Coffee
1120-1150 Daniel Tollin, University of Colorado
The binaural interaction component (BIC) of the auditory brainstem response (ABR) – an electrophysiological biomarker of binaural and spatial hearing
1150-1220 David McAlpine, Macquarie University
Cortical representation of interaural time differences
1220-1240 Joaquin Valderrama, Macquarie University, National Acoustic Laboratories
Auditory brainstem responses from apical portions of the cochlea evoked by a basilar membrane resonance induced by fast stimulus rates
1240-1345 Lunch – Level 3 Terrace
1345-1415 MEG Laboratories Tour for invited speakers
1415-1500 Cochlear Limited Tour for invited speakers
1500-1530 Michael Pecka, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich
Mechanisms of precise input timing in circuits for auditory spatial processing
1530-1600 Nace Golding, The University of Texas at Austin
A duplex code within the medial superior olive
1600-1630 Afternoon Tea/Coffee
1630-1650 Nicholas Haywood, Macquarie University
Sounds with rapidly changing interaural timing cues: perceived lateralization of  binaural beat and noise stimuli
1650-1720 Constantine Trahiotis, University of Connecticut Health Centre
Empirical data and quantitative theoretical analyses revealing essential elements of binaural processing: Experiments employing normal-hearing listeners and listeners with slight hearing loss
1720-1730 Concluding Remarks – David McAlpine

Program – Day 2 – Tuesday  24 October 2017

0925-0930 Welcome – David McAlpine
0930-1000 Richard Stern, Carnegie Mellon University
Predicting subjective lateral position, interaural discrimination, and binaural detection using the position-variable model
1000-1030 Christopher Stecker, Vanderbilt University
Assessing cortical representations of auditory space from fMRI sensitivity to binaural cues
1030-1100 Victor Benichoux, Institut Pasteur
A model of the binaural interaction component of the auditory brainstem response
1100-1130 Morning Tea/Coffee
1130-1150 Lindsey Van Yper, Macquarie University
Objective measures of binaural hearing in bilateral cochlear implant users
1150-1220 Astrid van Wieringen, KU Leuven
The development of language and cognitive abilities in infants with single sided deafness and a cochlear implant
1220-1250 Torsten Marquardt, University College London
Perceptual weighting of conflicting interaural timing difference cues in stimulus envelope and fine structure
1250-1430 Lunch – Level 3 Terrace
1430-1500 Nicholas Lesica, University College London
The neural basis of spatial unmasking of multiple talkers
1500-1530 Adrian KC Lee, University of Washington
Behavioral and neurophysiological evidence regarding the influence of oculomotor circuitry on auditory spatial tasks
1530-1600 Afternoon Tea/Coffee
1600-1620 Heivet Hernandez-Perez, Macquarie University
Effects of speech intelligibility on the auditory efferent activity
1620-1650 Steven Colburn, Boston University
Human processing of target speech signals in multiple-source environments
1650-1700 Closing Remarks – David McAlpine