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Personal profile

Research Interests

Hearing is the process by which we perceive objects and events in the world from the sounds that they produce. Since it is rare for only one source of sound to be active at any one time, the auditory system must be able to group together those acoustic elements that come from one source and to segregate those that come from other sources. Without a solution to this “scene analysis” problem, our perceptions of sound would not correspond to the events that produced them. Research in the auditory perception laboratory at Aston employs a variety of psychophysical techniques to investigate the cues used by the human auditory system for perceptual grouping and scene analysis. Particular interests are the perceptual organization of speech, the role of harmonic relations and other kinds of spectral pattern in the perceptual organization of concurrent acoustic elements, and the acoustic properties that determine the perceptual streaming of sequences of sounds. Also of interest are: the neural bases of auditory grouping phenomena; how the effects of wideband inhibition may produce patterns of behaviour confusable with those produced by more cognitive grouping mechanisms; auditory streaming in cochlear implant listeners; and the categorization and identification of sounds.

Qualifications

1980 - 1983        University of Cambridge                           
BA  Natural Sciences (Physiology & Psychology): First Class

1983 - 1984        University of Cambridge                           
PGCE   Biology: Distinction

1987                    University of Cambridge                           
MA                   N/A

1984 - 1988        University of Cambridge                           
PhD   Experimental Psychology (Auditory Perception). Conferred 1989.

Employment

Professor, Aston University                                                     2005, January

Reader, University of Birmingham                                         2001, October

Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham                            1999, October

Lecturer, University of Birmingham                                       1993, January

Research Fellow, University of York                                         1990, January

Research Fellow, McGill University, Montreal                         1988, October

Visiting Appointments

Macquarie University, Sydney, 2019

Title: Research project on the effects of sudden change on auditory stream segregation.

Detail: Project exploring the effects of sudden changes in stimulus properties (modulation rate and interaural time differences) on the auditory stream segregation of sound sequences. Collaboration with Dr. Nick Haywood, postdoctoral researcher at The Australian Hearing Hub. Anticipated outputs = two papers.

Contact Details

Mailto: b.roberts@aston.ac.uk
telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 3887
fax: +44 (0) 121 204 4090

Keywords

  • BF Psychology
  • auditory perception
  • auditory scene analysis

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