Marc Schönwiesner, Ph.D.

We currently run two laboratories, one for human research in Montreal, Canada as part of BRAMS and the other for animal and human research in Leipzig, Germany. We are interested in how the brain encodes and processes simple and complex sounds and how these mechanisms change when animals and people adjust to new listening situations. These studies address basic mechanisms of sound processing that underlie all higher human auditory functions, such as speech and music perception. We are especially interested in looking at individual brains with the aim of understanding how differences in brain processing relate to differences in perception and behaviour.  We use high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging, EEG, brainstem recordings, optical imaging with genetically-encoded Ca2+ indicators, computational modelling, and a number of somewhat crazy devices and techniques, such self-built 80- and 48-channel spherical loudspeaker arrays and miniaturized programmable devices that change the way people hear.

In addition to pure science, we try increasingly to address clinical questions about hearing disorders with these methods. Additional lines of research and techniques include interactions between sound and pain in the auditory brainstem, machine learning analysis of brain imaging data, age-related changes in plasticity and spatial hearing, and brain responses to expected but absent sounds.

List of publications.

icon Affiliation: Professor, Institut für Biologie General Zoology and Neurobiology

icon University: Leipzig University, International Max Planck Research School on Neuroscience of Communication

icon Email

icon Phone: +49 341 97-36723

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BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique centre dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. The research centre is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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