Xiaoqin Wang, PhD


Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Professor of Neuroscience
Professor of Otolaryngology
Director, Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology

Office: Traylor 410
Lab: Laboratory of Auditory Neurophysiology


B.S., Electrical Engineering, Sichuan University, 1984
M.S.E., Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, 1986
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, 1991

Research Interests

Our research aims to understand brain mechanisms responsible for auditory perception and vocal communication in a naturalistic environment. We are interested in revealing neural mechanisms operating in the cerebral cortex and how cortical representations of biologically important sounds emerge through development and learning.

Perception and production of communication sounds (e.g. human speech and animal vocalizations) are among the most important behaviors of humans and higher order mammals and are crucial for a species’ survival and well-being. Because of the complexity and behavioral importance of the communication sounds, their neural representations in the cerebral cortex provide invaluable insights into computational principles that the cortex uses to process a wide range of sounds such as speech and music. Understanding how the brain processes communication sounds and music will undoubtedly open windows on our understanding of human language perception.

We use a combination of state-of-the-art neurophysiological techniques and sophisticated computational and engineering tools to tackle our research questions. Current research in my laboratory includes the following areas:

  1. Neural coding of species-specific vocalizations in a naturalistic environment;
  2. Cortical organization for processing music sounds (e.g., pitch and harmonicity);
  3. Vocal production and control mechanisms in the primate brain;
  4. Neural mechanisms underlying auditory-vocal interaction;
  5. Cortical coding of complex sounds via cochlear implant stimulation;
  6. Developmental and experience-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex;
  7. Application of wireless recording techniques in studying brain activity during social interactions.

Selected Publications

From Pub Med   |   Google Scholar Profile

Publications Search

Bendor, D. and X. Wang. Neural coding of periodicity in marmoset auditory cortex. J Neurophysiol,103: 1809–1822 (2010).

Sadagopan S, Wang X. Nonlinear spectrotemporal interactions underlying selectivity for complex sounds in auditory cortex. J Neurosci. 29: 11192–11202 (2009)

Eliades, S.J. and X. Wang. Neural substrates of vocalization feedback monitoring in primate auditory cortex. Nature 453: 1102–1106 (2008).

Issa, E. B. and X. Wang. Sensory responses during sleep in primate primary and secondary auditory cortex. J. Neurosci. 28: 14467–14480 (2008).

Bendor, D.A. and X. Wang. “Differential neural coding of acoustic flutter within primate auditory cortex“. Nat Neurosci, 10: 763–771 (2007).

Miller, C. T. and X. Wang. Sensory-motor interactions modulate a primate vocal behavior: antiphonal calling in common marmosets. J. Comp Neurobiol. A. 192: 27–38 (2006).

Wang, X., T. Lu, R.K. Snider and L. Liang. Sustained firing in auditory cortex evoked by preferred stimuli. Nature 435: 341–346 (2005).

Bendor, D. A. and X. Wang. The neuronal representation of pitch in primate auditory cortex. Nature 436: 1161–1165 (2005).

Barbour, D. and X. Wang. Contrast tuning in auditory cortex. Science, 299: 1073–1075 (2003).

Lu, T., L. Liang and X. Wang. Temporal and rate representations of time-varying signals in the auditory cortex of awake primates. Nature Neuroscience, 4:1131–1138, (2001).

Wang, X. On cortical coding of vocal communication sounds in primates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 97: 11843–11849 (2000).