C(SD)2 - Computational, Speech, Sensory, Development & Diseases Lab

[pronounced “CSD-two lab”]

Focus of Lab

Collaborative, inter-professional efforts in separate human and animal laboratories investigate environmental and genetic influences on the normal and abnormal development of sensory processing. Current research involves animal models of autism and ageing as well as studies of more complex auditory processing in human volunteers after ear surgery, and those with ADHD, mTBI, and PTSD).

Animal Models of Genetic/Environmental Influences on Hearing

Collaborating with Dr. Mark Gabriele in the JMU biology department, we are using a mouse model to investigate the roles of specific signaling proteins in the development of multi-sensory perceptions.  We believe this to be a useful model of autism.  See https://www.breezejmu.org/news/jmu-researchers-look-to-explore-autism-causes-with-grant/article_bd9f4ac6-1edb-11eb-8cb8-9fc34d28b169.html. Collaborating with Dr. Baker in the JMU Psychology department we are studying the hearing of ageing mice.

Human Studies of Sounds that are Distracting

cognitive aural atresia

Collaborating with Dr. Bradley Kesser at the University of Virginia, we are investigating how people born without an external auditory meatus adapt to the novel input from their ‘new ear’ after surgical correction of their birth defect. We have developed a ‘deployable’ stereo-hearing test system that packs up much like a picnic basket and is mailed to participants’ homes.  We measure the many advantages of hearing with two ears, including sound localization and better understanding of speech in noise.  We showed that this remote testing was equivalent to supervised tests in the clinic, and so we join the trend to tele-health (actually ‘tele-research’).  Collaborating with Dr. Jennifer Mundorff, a JMU alumna, we plan to ‘deploy’ this system to a nearby Veterans Administration hospital to learn more about the ways that Veterans with auditory processing disorders might be abnormally distracted by unpredictable background sounds.  Collaborating with Dr. Holt in the JMU Psychology department we are studying how people behave when struggling to listen to very faint sounds.  Anyone interested in participating as an ‘experimental’ or control subject is invited to contact graylc@jmu.edu.

Computational Models of Disease Spread

See http://www.csd.jmu.edu/csdsquared/ for explanations and interactive visualizations of how oral and breast cancers, vaccination rates, and immigrants ‘spread’.  This innovative method, called ‘constructed cartography,’ is basically some math from hearing science applied to very different sets of data. Collaborations with surgeons at the Tata Memorial Cancer Centre in Mumbai, India, are in process to analyze different patterns of metastases from oral cancers (the most common neoplasm in India) and breast cancers (very rare in India) compared to the USA and UK where oral cancers are relatively rare and breast cancers are common.  Anyone who might go to Mumbai and would like to help is welcome to contact graylc@jmu.edu.


Director: Lincoln Gray

Other Faculty:


Current Projects in the lab; sources of funding