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Robert Harrison

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My research explores various aspects of hearing at all levels, from the mechanical function of the inner ear, to the neural processing of complex sound signals in the auditory cortex, to behavioural performance. I am interested in fundamental aspects of auditory physiology as well as more applied clinical problems related to hearing loss in children. On the basic side I use electrophysiology, brain imaging and microscopy to investigate how sounds are actually represented within the brain. In other words, the basis for the percepts of sound that we call 'hearing'. On the applied side, I am interested in developing new diagnostic technique for assessing hearing loss particularly in children, and I also look at how children with cochlear implants develop their speech understanding and language skills. In relation to CLLRNet, our research focus in on the developmental plasticity of the auditory system. In particular, we are interested in how the development of the central auditory brain is influenced by the condition of the inner ear (cochlea) during early development. We hypothesise that small perturbations in developmental processes may change the ways in which the acoustic signals (including speech) are represented and processed, and this in turn may negatively impact on language and literacy development.

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LAST MODIFIED: March 10 2005 18:36:52

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