Recent Events




SHBT Midwinter Research Forum

Saturday, January 25, 2014, 3-8:30 pm

Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School


3:00 - 5:00pm Student research posters - for a list of posters click here.
5:00 - 6:00pm  Refreshments
6:00pm  Buffet Dinner
7:30pm    Keynote address by Prof. Konstantina Stankovic, one of the first graduates of the SHBT Program, now on the faculty of the Department of Otology and Laryngology at HMS.

“Auditory Neuroscience: Nexus of Surgery, Science and Technology"



2013 SHBT End of Summer Talks

Tuesday, September 17th, 4:45pm

Meltzer auditorium at MEEI


See schedule of events and abstract booklet.

Coffee and snacks will be served, as well as a light dinner following the talks.

All students supported by the SHBT training grant are required to attend.



SHBT Midwinter Research Forum

Saturday, January 26, 2013, 3-9 pm


Joseph B. Martin Conference Center at Harvard Medical School



3:00 - 5:00pm Student research posters - for a list of posters click here.

5:00 - 6:00pm Social hour

6:00pm            Buffet Dinner

7:30pm            Keynote address by Prof. Josh McDermott


"Understanding Audition by Sound Analysis and Synthesis"







Distinguished Lecture Series 2012


Aniruddh D. Patel, Associate Professor
Dept. of Psychology, Tufts University


Talk: Musical training, speech processing, and neural plasticity: what are the principles?
Date: Thursday, October 4th, 2012
Time: 3:00 - 4:30pm
Location: Meltzer Auditorium, 3rd floor, MEEI

View Poster


Musical training, speech processing, and neural plasticity:
what are the principles?

There are growing indications that musical training (e.g., learning to play a
musical instrument) enhances the auditory processing of speech. While
these findings have potentially important implications, there is a need for
experimental (vs. correlational) studies, and for specific hypotheses about
how and why such effects would occur. In this lecture I present the
“OPERA” hypothesis, which proposes that such effects occur when five
essential conditions are met. These are: (1) Overlap: there is anatomical
overlap in the brain networks that process an acoustic feature used in both
music and speech (e.g., waveform periodicity, amplitude envelope), (2)
Precision: music places higher demands on these shared networks than does
speech, in terms of the precision of processing, (3) Emotion: the musical
activities that engage this network elicit strong positive emotion, (4)
Repetition: the musical activities that engage this network are frequently
repeated, and (5) Attention: the musical activities that engage this network
are associated with focused attention. According to the OPERA hypothesis,
when these conditions are met neural plasticity drives the networks in
question to function with higher precision than needed for ordinary speech
communication. Yet since speech shares these networks with music, speech
processing benefits.




2012 End-of-Summer Talks


Monday September 10, 4:45 pm
MIT, E25-111


We would like to remind you that the 2012 SHBT End-of-Summer Talks will take place on
Monday, September 10th in room E25-111 at MIT and will begin at 4:45pm
Coffee and snacks will be served, as well as a light dinner following the talks. 


Detailed Schedule:


4:45 PM: Introduction
5:00 PM: William Feng – “Correlations between voice quality-related measures of acoustic and neck-skin acceleration signals”
5:15 PM: Jordan Whitlock - “Depression and speech rate”
5:30 PM: Sonam Dilwali – “Transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B plays a key role in vestibular schwannoma growth”
5:45 PM: 10-minute Coffee/Cookie Break
5:55 PM: Samiya Alkhairy – “Solving the 1D cochlear wave equation”
6:10 PM: Jonathon Sellon – “Intrinsic viscosity controls tectorial membrane wave speed”
6:25 PM: Shirin Farrahi - “Tectorial membrane waves in humans"
6:40 PM: Luke Shaheen –“Using auditory steady-state responses to measure loss of auditory nerve fibers"
6:55 PM: 10-minute Coffee/Cookie Break
7:05 PM: Nathaniel Zuk – “Responses of neurons in the inferior colliculus to dynamic ITDs from broadband noise sources”
7:20 PM: Koeun Lim – “Whole-body tilt thresholds outperform static maximum-likelihood sensory integration”
7:35 PM: Rachelle Horwitz – “Sensory Processing Disorder: Identifying Associated Genes, Proteins, and Neurotransmitter Systems”
7:50 PM: Clarissa Zimmerman – “Design of portable magnetic resonance brain imager”
8:05 PM: Dinner


All students supported by the SHBT training grant (both MIT HST and Harvard DMS) are required to attend. 


The End-of-Summer Talks provide a unique opportunity for students to present their research to the SHBT community and receive constructive feedback.
We hope you will be able to join us!




Dr. Sridhar Kalluri, Starkey Hearing Research Center, Berkeley CA


Advances in individualizing hearing-aid interventions and

in improving hearing-aid benefit in real-world environments


Monday November 21, 1:30pm
MIT Allen Room 36-462



Dr. Kalluri is a graduate of the first class (entered 1992) of the SHBT program.  His dissertation focused on computational modeling of auditory neurons.  Following his graduation in 2000, he did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland, where he worked on the neural coding and perception of pitch and harmonicity.   He joined the Starkey Hearing Research Center in 2004, where he is now Manager of Hearing Science Research. His research interest is in understanding impairment of auditory function and in applying this understanding to the design of novel hearing-aid technologies.  In recent years, he has conducted research on the interaction of hearing aids with cognition and with binaural and spatial hearing.


In his talk, Dr. Kalluri will first talk about research at Starkey in general and then specifically about his own research on hearing aids.  He will then open a discussion about careers in the hearing aid industry.




SHBT End-of-Summer Talks


Tuesday, September 13, 2011
3:00 – 7:30 pm
MIT Haus room  36-428



Click here for schedule.




SHBT Ph.D. Thesis Defense



Neural Correlates of Auditory Perceptual Organization Measured with Direct Cortical Recordings in Humans

Andrew R. Dykstra

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 – 12:00 PM
Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary
3rd Floor – Meltzer Auditorium


Thesis Supervisor: Sydney S. Cash, M.D., Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor of Neurology, MGH, HMS




SHBT Ph.D. Thesis Defense



Methods for Functional Brain Imaging

Thomas Witzel

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 – 9:00am

Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging
149 Thirteenth Street,

Charlestown, Room 2204




SHBT Distinguished Lecture Series
Spring 2011


"Strategies for local drug delivery to the inner ear"

Alec Salt, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Otolaryngology
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis

When: Thursday, April 21st, 3:30-4:30 pm
Where: Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
243 Charles St
Boston, MA 02114


The Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology (SHBT) Distinguished Lecture Seires honors individuals who are making a tremendous impact in the field of auditory and speech sciences. This year, SHBT students have invited Dr. Alec Salt to give a talk on his recent advances in drug delivery to the inner ear.