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UCL Ear Institute

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Prof Jennifer Linden

Prof Jennifer Linden

Professor of Neuroscience

The Ear Institute

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 2004

Research summary

Human beings effortlessly perform complex feats of sound perception and auditory learning; for example, identifying new friends on the telephone just from the way they say hello; predicting a family member's arrival home by the sound of the car alone; or recognizing music from mere snippets heard while flipping through channels on the radio. These everyday yet remarkable abilities depend on listening and learning mechanisms within the brain, not just hearing mechanisms within the ear.  Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding these brain mechanisms of listening and learning, especially in the auditory cortex and thalamus.  Key questions include:

* How is auditory information transformed within thalamocortical circuits?

* What roles do the components of thalamocortical circuits play in sound perception and auditory learning?

* How is central auditory processing of auditory information affected by acoustic experience?

* How is central auditory processing altered in brain disorders affecting auditory perception?

Research in the laboratory is interdisciplinary, involving a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural, and computational techniques. We work primarily with mice, including mouse models of conditions such as tinnitus, schizophrenia, and developmental language disorder in humans.  Our work benefits from our affiliations with the UCL Ear Institute and the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology; we also have collaborative links with the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, the Institute of Ophthalmology, and other academic research units at UCL.

Teaching summary

I give lectures on peripheral and central auditory processing and cortical function in a variety of modules at UCL.

Education

California Institute of Technology
PhD, Computation and Neural Systems | 1999
Harvard University
BA, Biology | 1991
University College London
CLTHE_1, Academic studies in Higher Education | 04-06

Biography

I'm interested in how central auditory processing works normally, and how it is disrupted in brain disorders affecting hearing.  I use mainly electrophysiological techniques but also behavioural, molecular and computational modelling methods.  UCL is simply the one of the best environments in the world for my research, given the depth of expertise across biological and computational sciences.  The UCL Ear Institute is just one outstanding component of a very rich research environment.

Publications