Home > Events > NACS Seminar: Ed Lalor (Rochester)
S M T W T F S
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 
 
 

NACS Seminar: Ed Lalor (Rochester)

Time: 
Friday, October 13, 2017 - 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: 
1103 Bioscience Research Building

Title: The effects of attention and visual input on noninvasive electrophysiological indices of natural speech processing at different hierarchical levels

Abstract: How the human brain extracts meaning from the dynamic patterns of sound that constitute speech remains poorly understood. This is especially true in natural environments where the speech signal has to be processed against a complex mixture of background sounds. In this talk I will outline efforts over the last few years to derive noninvasive indices of natural speech processing. I will discuss how these indices are affected by attention and visual input and how attentional selection and multisensory integration can be “decoded” from EEG data. I will outline work showing that EEG and MEG are sensitive not just to the low-level acoustic properties of speech, but also to higher-level linguistic aspects of this most important of signals. This will include demonstrating that these signals reflect processing at the level of phonetic features. And, based on our most recent work, it will also include evidence that EEG is exquisitely sensitivity to the semantic processing of natural, running speech in a way that is very strongly affected by attention and intelligibility. While showcasing these findings, I will outline a number of paradigms and methodological approaches for eliciting noninvasive indices of speech-specific processing that should be useful in advancing our understanding of receptive speech processing in particular populations.

Bio: Ed Lalor received the B.E. degree in electronic engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland in 1998 and the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California in 1999. After periods working as a silicon design engineer for a Dublin-based company and a primary school teacher for children with learning difficulties, Ed joined MIT's Media Lab Europe, where he worked from 2002-2005 as a research scientist investigating brain-computer interfacing and attentional mechanisms in the brain. This research led to a PhD in biomedical engineering which was completed through UCD in 2006. Subsequently, he spent 2 years in New York working as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Cognitive Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Nathan Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and as an adjunct assistant professor in the City College of New York. He returned to a position as a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellow based at the Institute of Neuroscience and the Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College Dublin in 2008. Following a brief stint at University College London's Institute of Ophthalmology, he returned to Trinity College Dublin as an Ussher Assistant Professor in 2011. In 2016, he joined the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience at the University of Rochester as an Associate Professor.