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

  • Michael Mandel on Auditory bubbles: Estimating time frequency importance functions

    Date: 
    Fri, 03/20/2015 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Listeners can reliably identify speech in noisy conditions, but it is not well understood which specific features of the speech they use to do this.  This talk presents a data-driven framework for identifying these features.  By analyzing listening-test results involving the same speech utterance mixed with many different "bubble" noise instances, the framework is able to compute the importance of each time-frequency point in the utterance to its intelligibility, which we call the time-frequency importance function.  These results can be seen as a quantification of a listener's strategy for understanding a 
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Sound Classification by Prof. Dan Ellis (Columbia)

    Date: 
    Fri, 03/13/2015 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar

    I’m happy to welcome Prof. Dan Ellis (from Columbia, and on sabbatical at Google) to Stanford CCRMA to talk about recognizing environmental sounds. Recognizing speech and music are relatively common applications of machine learning. But what about the rest of the world? Speech and music are only a small fraction of the sounds that we hear throughout our day.

    Dan Ellis has been at the intersection of speech recognition, audio analysis and music processing research throughout his career. He brings an unusual range of interests and skills to all three problems, and I highly recommend his work.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Moving Auditory EEGs out of the Lab

    Date: 
    Fri, 02/13/2015 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar

    It's now time to take EEG out of the lab and into the real world. Our speaker on February 13 will talk about his efforts to build a mobile EEG recording device and validate its performance with an auditory task.  Maarten De Vos received his PhD from KU Leuven (Belgium) and is visiting Stanford for a few months, before heading to a faculty position at Oxford.

    His validation experiments are interesting because he describes them as a means of decoding attention.  He's using P300 attention-modulated correlates to measure what people are attending to.  Very interesting.

      Who: Maarten De Vos (University of Oldenberg, Oxford and visiting Stanford)

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Christophe Micheyl on Small and Big Data Challenges for Hearing Aids

    Date: 
    Fri, 12/05/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    All of us our familiar with the basic goal of a hearing aid, amplify sound. But a more difficult issue is how do you figure out the right parameters to help a user? Getting the right feedback from a patient who doesn't understand what they are hearing is difficult. There are dozens (hundreds) of parameters in modern hearing aids.  How do we take a patient's complaint that they can't hear in a restaurant and figure out what that means to their sound-processing needs? It's more than just turning up the volume.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Auditory Imagination and Priming: Pilot projects from the 2014 Telluride Neuromorphic Engineering Cognition Workshop

    Date: 
    Fri, 11/21/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    A lot of work is done to understand the bottom-up pathways in the brain. This summer’s work looked at top-down influences. Just how do auditory imagination and priming affect what we hear? More importantly, can we see evidence of priming or auditory imaginations via either psychoacoustics or with EEG measurements? The answer is a tentative yes.

    At this week’s Hearing Seminar, I want to describe several pilot experiments that were done over the summer. This work was part of the Telluride Neuromorphic Cognition workshop that is held every summer in Telluride, Co. It’s a rather scenic location, but is totally inundated with auditory perception nerds (and others) for three weeks of working workshop. Science in the mountains. Imagine that.

    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Noise reduction using artificial auditory neurons

    Date: 
    Fri, 11/07/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    Animals throughout the animal kingdom excel at extracting individual sounds from competing background sounds, yet current state-of-the-art signal processing algorithms struggle to process speech in the presence of even modest background noise. Recent psychophysical experiments in humans and electrophysiological recordings in animal models suggest that the brain is adapted to process sounds within a restricted domain of spectro-temporal modulations found in natural sounds. We show how an artificial neural network trained to detect, extract and reconstruct the spectro-temporal features found in speech can significantly reduce the level of the background noise while preserving the foreground speech quality, improving speech intelligibility and automatic speech recognition along the way.
    FREE
    Open to the Public
  • Prof. Simon Carlile on Binaural Representations

    Date: 
    Fri, 10/31/2014 - 11:00am - 12:30pm
    Location: 
    CCRMA Seminar Room
    Event Type: 
    Hearing Seminar
    How is binaural hearing processed and represented in the brain? We have an almost magical ability to perceive the location of sounds. We know the basic cues (interaural level differences, and interaural time differences) but how does the eventual location get represented? Conventional wisdom is that is represented along a linear axis. But could it be represented a different way? I dare say that perceptual representations are the biggest piece of the neurological puzzle that we are missing….

    Who: Prof. Simon Carlile (University of Sydney)
    What: Six degrees of spatial separation - The portal for auditory perception
    When: Friday October 31, 2014
    Where: CCRMA Seminar Room (Top Floor of the Knoll at Stanford)

    Open to the Public
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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