Hearing Seminars

CCRMA hosts a weekly Hearing seminar. All areas related to perception are discussed, but the group emphasizes topics that will help us understand how the auditory system works. Speakers are drawn from the group and visitors to the Stanford area. Most attendees are graduate students, faculty, or local researchers interested in psychology, music, engineering, neurophysiology, and linguistics. Meetings are usually from 11AM to 12:30 (or so, depending on questions) on Friday mornings in the CCRMA Seminar Room.

The current schedule is announced via a mailing list. To be added to the mailing list, send email to hearing-seminar-request@ccrma.stanford.edu.  If you have any questions, please contact Malcolm Slaney at hearing-seminar-admin@ccrma.stanford.edu.

Recent Hearing Seminars

  • Computational modeling of early language acquisition – Bridging the gap between acoustic input and high-level linguistic representations

    Date: 
    Fri, 06/19/2015 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    It is amazing that all of us as infants learn how to parse the auditory environment around us. Okko Räsänen is here at Stanford as a PostDoc, and coming to CCRMA to talk about his work on understanding how infants learn to segment words out of the acoustic stream. This is a special post-quarter seminar, and I think the topic is important to anybody that thinks about high-level understanding of sound.

    Who: Okko Räsänen (Stanford and Aalto University)
    What: Computational modeling of early language acquisition
              Bridging the gap between acoustic input and high-level linguistic representations
    When: 11AM on Friday June 19, 2015
    Where: CCRMA Seminar Room
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Learning and Plasticity for Auditory Perception

    Date: 
    Wed, 06/03/2015 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    How do we adapt to the world around us? Adaptation is common for all of us, but especially important for patients that get cochlear implants. Many grew up hearing normally, but due to trauma have to make do with a wires that electrically stimulate the hair cells of the cochlea. This a very primitive approach that yields impressive result. But the resulting perceptions are nothing like what the patient is used to hearing.

    How is it that the brain learns how to process new stimuli? And what can we do to make it easier for an individual? Dr. Matt Fitzgerald is a new member of the Stanford community. I’m happy to learn more about his work and to welcome him to the Stanford Hearing Community.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Effects of cognitive load on perception

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/29/2015 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    How is it that we recognize audio, in impoverished environments?  How does our cognitive state, and the load our brains are suffering under, effect how we perceive and understand audio? Speech gives us a convenient model to talk about syntax, but the same considerations probably apply to music.  While this talk describes a speech paradigm, I believe it applies to all forms of auditory perception. 

       Who: Sven Mattys (University of York, UK)
       What: Effects of cognitive load on perception
       When: May 29, 2015 at 11AM
       Where: CCRMA Seminar Room
       Why: Because perception depends on cognition
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Alex Brandmeyer on High-frequency Neural oscillations for Auditory Perception

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/22/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Our transparent everyday experience of sound belies the complex perceptual processes which transform acoustic energy in the environment into rich representations of sound-emitting objects. Since the publication of Bregman’s seminal work on ‘Auditory Scene Analysis’, much progress has been made in understanding the neural mechanisms that support the formation of auditory streams and object representations. This talk will focus on the functional role of neural oscillations in audition, and the interplay between top-down (i.e. attentional and executive processes) and bottom-up (sensory) processes during the formation of perceptual representations.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Compositional models for audio processing

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/15/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Compositional models of audio, including those based on non-negative matrix factorisation (NMF), explicitly consider the fact that sound components combine largely constructively in the composition of more complex sounds. The use of compositional models has yielded state-of-the-art results in many audio processing tasks, such as sound source separation and music content analysis. In this presentation, I will give an overview of compositional model approaches to noise-robust automatic speech recognition (ASR) and discuss methods to build a dictionary of sound components. I will then show how compositional models can also be used to learn recurrent acoustic patterns representing words or phrases, with as application the construction of a language-independent vocal interface.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Making Speech Content Sound Better

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/08/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    CCRMA alumnus and Adobe Researcher, Gautham Mysore will lead Friday’s Hearing Seminar with a discussion about how we can improve the quality of audio. Professional quality audio is not trivial to create. Can we build tools that make it easier?

    Last week at the CCRMA Hearing Seminar we talked about how to measure the quality of a speech signal. This week we talk about how to make it sound better.

    Who: Gautham Mysore
    What: Making Speech Content Better
    When: Friday May 8 at 11:30AM
    Where: CCRMA Seminar Room
    Why: Because better audio quality is always better

    Title:
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Naomi Harte - ViSQOL, An objective measure for speech quality

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/01/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    How do humans judge perceptual quality of a signal? It’s easy to measure mean-squared error, but that is not how the brain measures quality—that would be too easy. Instead, we want to look inside the brain to see how sound is encoded. This problem is important as we build more devices that process sound and we need to assess whether they are doing a good job. Naomi’s work addresses the problem when we have access to the original and the modified sound. It’s an improvement over the PESQ and POLQA work, if you are familiar with the area.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Gabriella Musacchia on Brain Plasticity with Music and Auditory Enrichment

    Date: 
    Fri, 04/24/2015 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location: 
    TBD: CCRMA Seminar Room or the classroom
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Brain plasticity with music and auditory enrichment: Implications for early music education. Note special time!!!!! 3PM Seminar!!!
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Sunil Puria on Developing and Testing a Photonic Contact Hearing Aid

    Date: 
    Fri, 04/17/2015 - 11:30am - 1:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    The EarLens Contact Hearing Aid (CHA) is a non-surgical investigational hearing device consisting of two components: a tympanic membrane transducer (TMT), which is a light-activated balanced-armature transducer that drives the middle ear through direct contact with the umbo; and a behind-the-ear unit (BTE) that encodes amplified sound into pulses of light that are emitted via a light source in the ear canal to wirelessly drive and power the TMT. In comparison to conventional acoustic hearing aids whose output is greatly reduced above 4-5 kHz, this approach is designed to provide output levels of up to about 120 dB SPL and functional gain of up to 40 dB for frequencies up to 10 kHz.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • John Woodruff on Machine Listening: What do they hear and why?

    Date: 
    Fri, 04/10/2015 - 11:30am - 12:45pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Whenever our devices capture sound, audio systems are there to recognize what’s been said or turn down all that noise. But how do our phones, tablets, remotes, headphones, hearing aids and thermostats know what to listen to? Most systems use one or both of two assumptions – 1) I’m listening for speech, 2) the sound I want came from that direction. Robust speech recognition systems are perhaps the most ubiquitous realizations of the first assumption. Large-scale training on noisy speech embeds the capability to “listen for speech”, but such systems are fundamentally limited when there are competing talkers.
    FREE
    Open to the Public