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

  • Matt Hoffman on a Learned Source-Filter Model of Speech

    Date: 
    Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Rooom
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    We propose the product-of-filters (PoF) model, a generative model that decomposes audio spectra as sparse linear combinations of "filters" in the log-spectral domain. PoF makes similar assumptions to those used in the classic homomorphic filtering approach to signal processing, but replaces hand-designed decompositions built of basic signal processing operations with a learned decomposition based on statistical inference. When applied to speech, PoF discovers a source-filter representation of speech, despite its lack of any explicit prior knowledge about the mechanisms of vocalization. The PoF model can be used as a prior in more complicated models, permitting applications to problems such as dereverberation and bandwidth expansion.

    Bio:

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Special talk in CCRMA hearing seminar: Binaural beats, brain rhythms, and binaural hearing

    Date: 
    Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:00pm - 4:00pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA classroom (Knoll, 217)
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar

    Binaural beats, brain rhythms, and binaural hearing

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Bernard Ross on Binaural beats, brain rhythms, and binaural hearing

    Date: 
    Fri, 10/10/2014 - 3:00pm - 4:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Two tones with slightly different frequencies, presented to both ears, interact in the central auditory brain and induce the sensation of a beating sound. At low difference frequencies, we perceive a single sound, which is moving across the head between the left and right ears. The percept changes to loudness fluctuation, roughness, and pitch with increasing beat rate. To examine the neural representations underlying these different perceptions, we recorded neuromagnetic cortical responses while participants listened to binaural beats at continuously varying rate between 3 Hz and 60 Hz. Binaural beat responses were analyzed as neuromagnetic oscillations following the trajectory of the stimulus rate.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Bryan Pardo on Crowdsourcing Audio Production Interfaces

    Date: 
    Mon, 08/25/2014 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
    Location: 
    Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar

    Potential users of audio production software, such as audio equalizers, may be discouraged by the complexity of the interface and a lack of clear affordances in typical interfaces. We seek to simplify interfaces for task such as audio production (e.g. mastering a music album with ProTools), audio tools (e.g. equalizers) and related consumer devices (e.g. hearing aids). Our approach is to use an evaluative paradigm (“I like this sound better than that sound”) and the use of descriptive language (e.g. “Make the violin sound ‘warmer.’”). To build interfaces that use descriptive language, a system must be able to tell whether the stated goal is appropriate for the selected tool (e.g.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Bowon Lee on Sound Source Localization by Machines

    Date: 
    Fri, 05/23/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    The use of voice commands for human-computer interaction is becoming more prevalent thanks to the recent advancements of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technologies. In typical acoustic environments, audio captured by a microphone contains background noise, reverberation, and signals from interfering sources, making reliable speech capture a challenging problem. Some applications even require more than one user to interact with the system, e.g., gaming, which makes simultaneous speaker detection and localization crucial for enabling natural interactions. Distant multi-speaker speech capture often benefits from the use of microphone arrays that can provide enhanced speech signals using spatial filtering, or beamforming.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Everything you wanted to know about pitch perception....

    Date: 
    Fri, 04/11/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    I want to review several theories of pitch perception this week at the CCRMA Hearing Seminar. There are models based on spectral profiles (obviously wrong :-), temporal models (too good), and engineering approaches (not perceptual). And even newer work on using learning. How can these approaches be combined to find something that always works? Something that explains human perception?

    Who: Malcolm Slaney (CCRMA)
    What: Everything you wanted to know about pitch perception
    When: Friday April 11 at 11AM
    Where: CCRMA Seminar Room (Top floor of the Knoll at Stanford)
    Why: What is more fundamental than pitch?

    Bring your ideas, and we’ll see if there is a middle ground.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Malcolm Slaney on Pitch Change Recognition

    Date: 
    Fri, 01/24/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    There are a couple of recent studies that endeavor to understand how to measure pitch changes, *without* measuring pitch! I would like to summarize these ideas and discuss their implications for perception.

    Pitch changes are important for prosody and some languages. Singers care about pitch, but most people speak and perceive speech without conscious understanding of the pitch. Yet this signal is important. For most languages it tells us a lot about the non-semantic information about the speech signal. And tone languages use pitch to indicate different words. It seems important to measure pitch.

    The two studies I have been involved in have taken two different approaches to avoiding the pitch signal.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Prof. Charles Steele on "The novel mechanical structure for function of the inner ear"

    Date: 
    Fri, 01/17/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Few aspects of the hearing process are free from controversy and/or contradiction. However, there is a consensus on several basic features. Nerves are restricted in transferring frequency information to the brain. Consequently, mechanical devices are used in the inner ear for useful neural excitation. The semicircular canals provide very low frequency information associated with body motion, while the mammalian cochlea provides high frequency hearing. The cochlea acts as a real-time Fourier analyzer with a mapping of each frequency of the sound to a place along the cochlea.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Mark Sandler on Semantic audio: Combining semantic web technology with audio analysis

    Date: 
    Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Mark Sandler will present some of the latest research from the Centre for Digital Music in Semantic Audio, wherever appropriate by means of demos. These will include the use of semantic linked data to create exciting music browsing applications, the use of content analysis in recording studios to improve the quality of audio features and music informatics applications, and music recommendation based on mood.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • KC Lee on Understanding User's Auditory Intent

    Date: 
    Fri, 12/06/2013 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm
    Location: 
    Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Title: Towards incorporating user’s intent in hearing aid design – a combined neuroscience and engineering approach

    Abstract Current hearing aids users find minimal benefit in their device when they are conversing in a crowded environment because all sounds are amplified irrespective of the user’s focus of attention. We are currently working toward the creation of a next-generation hearing aid that will selectively amplify a signal of interest based on the user’s intent. This requires a fundamental paradigm shift in instrumentation design, moving away from feed-forward amplification to systems that incorporate brain signals as feedback mechanisms. To accomplish this, we need to first understand the cortical network recruited for auditory attention.

    FREE
    Open to the Public