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What led you to pursue a career in auditory neuroscience and what is the mission behind your laboratory, Brainvolts? What is the effect of bilingualism on Alzheimer’s disease? How can sound be used for the assessment of traumatic brain injury and other neurological conditions? In this episode, Dr. Nina Kraus addresses these questions and much more about the clinical applications for auditory neuroscience research. Her laboratory at Northwestern University, Brainvolts has discovered how to measure the biology of auditory processing with unprecedented precision. The implications of the research conducted there extends beyond the laboratory to schools, community centers, and clinics.
Nina Kraus, Ph.D. is a professor at Northwestern University who studies the biology of auditory learning. Through a series of innovative studies involving thousands of research participants from birth to age 90, her research has found that our lives in sound, for better (musicians, bilinguals) or worse (language disorders, concussion, aging, hearing loss), shape auditory processing. She continues to conduct parallel experiments in animal models to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these phenomena.
Never having accepted a lack of technology as a roadblock to scientific discovery, Kraus has invented new ways to measure the biology of sound processing in humans that provide precision and granularity in indexing brain function. With her technological innovations she is now pushing science beyond the traditional laboratory by conducting studies in schools, community centers, and clinics.
Using the principles of neuroscience to improve human communication, she advocates for best practices in education, health, and social policy. Dr. Kraus is the author of the book “Of Sound Mind: How our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World”.
Link to “Of Sound Mind: How our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World”: https://www.amazon.com/Sound-Mind-Brain-Constructs-Meaningful/dp/0262045869#:~:text=Of%20Sound%20Mind%3A%20How%20Our,9780262045865%3A%20Amazon.com%3A%20Books
Link to Brainvolts: https://brainvolts.northwestern.edu/about-us/
Link to BEAMS hypothesis: https://brainvolts.northwestern.edu/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Kraus_BEAMS_2021-1.pdf