Northwestern University professor Nina Kraus shed light on one of the brain's most complex tasks -- making sense of sound -- during the recent Falling Walls conference in Berlin
The annual gathering features significant discoveries or "breakthroughs" by 20 of the world's leading scientists and social leaders across a wide range of fields.
During her 15-minute talk, Kraus explained how she was able to solve a major problem in the field by devising a new way to measure what happens in the brain when it's processing sound.
"The sounds of our lives change our brain," said Kraus, an inventor, amateur musician and director of Northwestern's Auditory Neuroscience Lab in the School of Communication. "In our lab, we investigate how our life in sound changes the brain, and how different forms of enrichment or decline influence how our brain processes sound."
To measure the brain's response to sound, researchers play speech or music directly into the ears of study volunteers. The scientists then measure the electricity created by the brain as it translates sound through sensors attached to participants' heads.
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