Contributors to Information in Sound


Andrew Bass. Cornell University. Research in his laboratory focuses on two projects concerning the central and peripheral nervous systems of sound-producing/ “vocalizing” teleost fishes: (1) Characterization, and hormonal influences on, sex differences in the morphology of single, physiologically-identified neurons. (2) Temporal and spectral encoding of acoustic communication signals. These projects revolve around studies of alternative mating tactics in species wth two male morphs that differ in a large suite of behavioral, neurobiological and neuroendocrine characters including divergent acoustic courtship behaviors and vocal control pathways. He answers questions regarding the existence of behaviors and their underlying mechanisms using a multidisciplinary, neuroethological approach that combines field studies of vocal communication with laboratory studies of the nervous system that utilize one or more of the following approaches: neurophysiology combined with anatomical tract tracing, neuroendocrinology, electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry, and in situ hybridization.


Karen Froud. Columbia University. She is the director of the Neurocognition of Language Lab, and is an Associate Professor for the programs in Speech-Language Pathology andNeuroscience & Education. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from University College London. Her research is concerned with the neural correlates of linguistic processing and representation in normal and disordered language. She teaches graduate level courses in Neuroscience and Language Disorders at TC, whilst maintaining a wide range of collaborative research projects in linguistics and the neurosciences.

As well as her teaching and research, Karen has lead a programs for clinical training and service provision in Cambodia since 2008. Click here to learn more about SLP Cambodia.


Asif Ghazanfar. Princeton University. He studies the neural and developmental bases for communication in humans. Using animal models is one of the best ways to uncover the basic neural mechanisms of complex behaviors by allowing direct measurements of neural activity. In his lab, he uses primate model systems who naturally exhibit (i.e, without extensive training) communication behaviors that are similar to ours. This approach also allows him to determine the evolutionary origins of these behaviors, but more importantly it gives us insights into what may go awry in disorders of communication, such as dyslexia and autism.

His lab operates at the interface of neuroscience, developmental biology, morphology and evolution. He studies how social communication emerges through the dynamic interactions between neural systems, the body, pre- and post-natal experience and socioecological context. His comparative approach includes studying macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis & M. mulatta), marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), and humans. He uses a variety of techniques to address our questions, including electrophysiology, electromyography, eye tracking, computer animation, morphometry, ultrasonography, field work and psychophysics.



Goldstein,  MichaelMichael Goldstein. Cornell University.  He is the director of the lab. He is Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at Cornell University. He received his B.A. from University of Colorado – Denver in 1993 and his Ph.D. in developmental psychology and animal behavior from Indiana University in 2001. Dr. Goldstein has received the David Kucharski Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology and the Distinguished Early Career Contribution Award from the International Society on Infant Studies. His research is currently supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute for Child Health and Human Development and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Goldstein studies the development and evolution of vocal learning via comparative work in human infants and songbirds. In general, he is interested in all kinds of socially guided learning. Thus he focuses on the developmental processes by which knowledge is acquired from the social environment. His publications have appeared in top-tier journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and Psychological Science, and he is on the editorial boards of Developmental Psychobiology and Parenting: Science and Practice. He has three cats, and enjoys nature photography and mountain climbing.



large_user_2126930Barry Gragg. Dwight School. A native of Canada, Barry Gragg studied physics at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph and received his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Guelph in 1993. In 1994, he received a bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. He has been teaching since 1995, and in 1997 he was named Teacher of the Year at Colonel Gray High School. Barry has taught IB Physics at The Dwight School since 1998. He is an International Baccalaureate Physics Examiner and Workshop Leader.


Uri Hasson. Princeton University. His research is part of a growing trend in neuroscience towards the study of brain responses to natural real life events. Psychology and neuroscience research typically adopt a reductionist, deductive approach to study particular cognitive and neurobiological processes. Empirical research in these fields has largely resorted to abstraction and simplification in order to achieve maximal control over as many variables as possible, while isolating or randomizing other intervening or potentially confounding factors. Despite their obvious advantages and past effectiveness, such experimental protocols lack the distinctive complexity of real life. Thus, his lab attempts to develop complementary paradigms to study the neural activity that drives human behavior under natural and realistic conditions.
One line of research in the lab focuses on developing new methods for investigating how the brain integrates real life complex information over time. The second line of research investigates the underlying neuronal mechanism that facilitates the transfer of information between two brains in the course of real life interaction. His research spans methodologies, recruiting both functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), as well as direct measurement of electrical activity using intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) recordings.


Don Hodges. University of North Carolina – Greensboro. Donald A. Hodges is the Covington Distinguished Professor of Music Education and Director of the Music Research Institute at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro ( His degrees are from the University of Kansas (BME) and the University of Texas (MM and PhD). Previous appointments include the Philadelphia public schools, the University of South Carolina, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Hodges is co-author of Music and the Human Experience: An Introduction to Music Psychology (2011, Routledge), contributing editor of the Handbook of Music Psychology and the accompanying Multimedia Companion, and has published numerous book chapters, articles, and research papers in music education and music psychology. He has made presentations to state, national, and international conferences and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Research in Music EducationReviews of Research in Human Learning and Music, Music Educators Journal,and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education. He is past president of the Texas Music Educators Conference and Texas Coalition for Music Education, has served on scientific organizing and review committees for the International Society for Music Medicine and the International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition, and was Chair of the Music Perception and Cognition Special Research Interest Group (Music Educators National Conference) and Research Chair for NCMEA. Recent research has focused on a series of brain imaging studies of musicians. Hodges’ biographical sketch appears in The Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd edition.


Bernie KrauseHe is  is an American musician, author, soundscape recordist and bio-acoustician, who coined the term biophony and helped define the structure ofsoundscape ecology. Krause holds a Ph.D. in bioacoustics from Union Institute & University in Cincinnati. author of the book “The Great Animal Orchestra.” Here’s the link to the NYT book review.



Jack McElaney. He is a graduate of Columbia University (1980) where he also received the Scholar/Athlete Award while playing both basketball and soccer. As a soccer player, he was All-Ivy, won two Ivy Championships, Captained the 1979 team to the NCAA Final Four, played for the U.S. U-20 National Team, and professionally in Dublin, Ireland (1981). Jack began his teaching and coaching career at St Ann’s School (1987-1999) and was appointed Middle School Dean at The Dwight School in 2001. He is the only coach in the history of New York State basketball to guide both a boys team (St. Ann’s, ’95) and a girls team (Dwight, 2001, 2002) to the Private School State Championship Game. In 2006, Jack created and teaches a course for grades 6-8, Contemporary Civilization, that promotes and practices critical thinking skills and philosophical inquiry.


Robert Remez. Barnard and Columbia University. My studies examine the perceptual organization of speech, and aim to explain how the listener finds a speech signal amid the sounds that strike the ear. The technique of sinewave replication of speech has figured prominently in these studies. In a second line of research, my studies assess the perceptible differences between individual talkers and the phonetic and qualitative aspects of these indexical properties.


Shihab Shamma. University of Maryland. His research deals with issues in computational neuroscience, euromorphic engineering, and the development of microsensor systems for experimental research and neural prostheses. Primary focus has been on studying the computational principles underlying the processing and recognition of complex sounds (speech and music) in the auditory system, and the relationship between auditory and visual processing. Signal processing algorithms inspired by data from neurophysiological and psychoacoustical experiments are being developed and applied in a variety of systems such as speech and voice recognition and diagnostics in industrial manufacturing. Other research interests included (at various times) the development of photolithographic microelectrode arrays for recording and stimulation of neural signals, a VLSI implementations of auditory processing algorithms, and development of robotic systems for the detection and tracking of multiple sound sources.


Avery Wang. Shazam Entertainment. He has over 20 years of industry experience designing high-performance multimedia signal processing systems for the consumer market and is the principal inventor of Shazam’s recognition algorithms and other key technologies. Avery holds graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Stanford University, with a PhD at CCRMA on Auditory Source Separation. He also studied Computational Neurosciences on a Fulbright scholarship to Germany. At Shazam his responsibilities include innovation and intellectual property.

A show that explores the bigger questions.