Thesis defense

Tracking changes in complex auditory scenes along the cortical pathway

Jennifer Lawlor
Practical information
26 October 2018

Dussane, 24 rue Lhomond, 75005 Paris


Navigating a busy street while talking on the phone is trivial for a majority of the population. However, how the brain extracts the relevant information from the ever-changing and cluttered acoustic environment to produce the appropriate behavior remains poorly understood. The proposed thesis investigates neural basis of the extraction of relevant information in complex continuous streams for goal-directed behavior using a combination techniques linking electrophysiology to psychophysics. Humans and ferrets performed a similar change detection task that consisted of reporting changes in the underlying statistics of a tone cloud. The brain electrical activity was recorded (scalp level for humans and cell level for ferrets) while subjects engaged in the task. Overall, we find area-specific cortical responses: change-related responses are generalized along the cortical pathway. In addition, task engagement strongly modulates the frontal cortex where decision-related responses are found.


- Stephen David, OHSU, Rapporteur, Président du jury
- Andrew King, Oxford University, Rapporteur
- Kishore Kuchibhotla, Johns Hopkins University, Membre du jury
- Srdjan Ostojic, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Membre du jury