JHU Biomedical Engineering Primary Faculty
Eric D. Young, Ph.D.
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Neuroscience, and Otolaryngology-
Head and Neck Surgery
California Institute of Technology (B.S. 1967)
Johns Hopkins Univ. (Ph.D. 1972)
Univ. of Chicago (postdoc, 1975)
My lab works on the representation of the acoustic environment in the brain and the effects of
hearing impairment on that representation. Neural information processing is one of the grand challenges for the near future because of the inherent difficulty of the problem on both theoretical and experimental grounds. We are attempting to find general ways to describe the neural representation of sound and the flow of information about sounds within the brain.
One approach to neural information processing is to build predictive models of the response
properties of neurons. We have applied this approach in two ways. First, we have constructed functional models of the signal processing in auditory processing centers by working out the synaptic interactions among neurons that transform inputs into outputs. This is necessarily data-intensive, involving recording neural activity in response to auditory stimuli and inferring neural organization from the patterns of neural response and their modification by pharmacological manipulations and electrical stimulation. Second, we are developing abstract system-theoretic and information-theoretic models of neural input/output relationships which can be applied at multiple levels of the auditory system.
Hearing impairment resulting from sound exposure, environmental toxins, or genetic defects is a
disabling condition that affects millions of people. We are attempting to improve the understanding of common types of hearing impairment by investigating how the impairment affects neural information processing in the auditory system. In one approach, we are designing signal processing algorithms to restore normal neural representations of sounds in the auditory nerve. In a second, we are studying the secondary changes in neural processing which occur in the brain after damage to the auditory input. Both efforts have direct application to auditory prosthesis.
Heinz, M.G., Issa, J.B. and Young, E.D. Auditory-nerve rate responses are inconsistent with common hypotheses for the neural correlates of loudness recruitment. JARO 6:91-105 (2005).
Reiss, L.A.J. and Young, E.D. Spectral edge sensitivity in neural circuits of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. J. Neuroscience 25:3680-3691 (2005).
Ma, W.-L. and Young, E.D. Dorsal cochlear nucleus response properties following acoustic trauma: Response maps and spontaneous activity. Hearing Res. 216-217:176-188 (2006).
Chase, S.M. and Young, E.D. First-spike latency information in single neurons increases when referenced to population onset. PNAS 104:5175-80 (2007).
Bandyopadhyay, S., Reiss, L.A.J., and Young, E.D. A receptive field for dorsal cochlear nucleus neurons at multiple sound levels. J. Neurophysiol. (in press, 2007; doi:10.1152/jn.00539.2007).
From Pub Med | From Google Scholar
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