The Hamilton Lab is part of the NeuroComm Labs at UT Austin's Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in the Moody College of Communication. We are also jointly affiliated with the Department of Neurology at UT Austin's Dell Medical School. Our research aims to determine how natural sounds including speech are represented by the human brain during speech perception and production, and how these representations change during development. We study how the human brain processes speech sounds using intracranial electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings from patients with intractable epilepsy who are undergoing surgery to treat their epilepsy. We use a combination of electrophysiology, behavior, neuroimaging, and computational modeling to address these questions.
We would not be able to do this work without the generous help of clinicians and our patient volunteers, who participate in listening tasks during their hospital stay. You can read more about our research on the Research page.
Maansi Desai presents her work at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) Meeting 2020 on how we can use EEG to uncover neural tracking of speech and other acoustics during naturalistic listening.Watch the video
Our paper in Frontiers for Young Minds is out! This paper explains how cortical stimulation mapping is used to understand the neural representations of speech and language in musicians, and was written for and reviewed by kids! The paper was led by PhD student Maansi Desai in collaboration with undergraduate Rachel Sorrells and our UCSF collaborators Matthew Leonard and Edward Chang.
MA-PhD student Maansi Desai and current and former undergraduates Jade Holder, Cassandra Villarreal, and Natalie Clark will have their work on using EEG to understand the processing of speech in natural, noisy situations presented at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping Conference in Montreal this June, 2020.
January 2020 - Welcome Jacob and Nick!
The lab welcomes Jacob Cheek and Nick Arreguy. Jacob continues with independent study in the lab after participating in the Moody Intellectual Entrepreneurship program. Jacob is interested in speech in noise perception and word recognition in people with moderate to severe hearing loss. Nick joins as an independent study student and is learning to collect EEG data to help with a collaboration with the Aphasia Research and Treatment Lab.
August 2019 - Congratulations to Mary Lowery!
The lab says farewell and good luck to Mary Lowery, who is pursuing her clinical fellowship (CF) in Speech Language Pathology!
Our new paper on standards for sharing intracranial EEG data has moved from preprint to journal, and is now out in Scientific Data! We are happy to be involved in a large consortium of iEEG and ECoG researchers who are interested in better standards for data sharing. Thanks to Chris Holdgraf and Dora Hermes for leading this project.
Nicole Currens, Amanda Martinez, and Paranjaya Pokharel will join the lab, helping Garret Kurteff with a speech production and perception EEG project. Natalie Miller joins the lab to assist Maansi Desai with an EEG project on natural speech perception and influences of background noise. Welcome!
Congrats to Mary Lowery, who graduated May 2019 with her Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology, and to Natalie Clark and Cassandra Villarreal, who graduated with their bachelor's degrees in Communication Sciences and Disorders! Natalie and Cassie are going on to graduate masters programs in Speech Language Pathology. Mary will be working in the lab over the summer and then working on her clinical fellowship (CF). We wish them all the best!
Congratulations to 1st year MA-PhD student Maansi Desai, who received the Elizabeth Wiig Doctoral Student Research Fund, and to Liberty Hamilton, who received the Tina E. Bangs Research Endowment Fund. The awards were presented at the TSH Foundation breakfast in Fort Worth, Texas on March 1st, 2019.
February 2019 - Welcome, Stephanie!
Stephanie Shields is a first year PhD student in the Institute for Neuroscience and has started a 10-week research rotation with our group. Welcome, Stephanie!
January 2019 - Welcome, Ian and Rachel!
The lab welcomes Ian Griffith, who joins us as a research associate, and Rachel Sorrells, who joins as an undergraduate in neuroscience. Ian brings experience in cognitive neuroscience, EEG, and computational neuroscience and will work on a project related to invariance in the auditory system. Rachel will be working on a project related to natural sound perception.
We recently contributed to an excellent preprint by Christopher Holdgraf (Berkeley Institute for Data Science) and Dora Hermes (Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, UMC Utrecht) on improving reuse and external sharing of intracranial EEG data.
September 2018 - Welcome, Maansi and Garret!
Maansi Desai and Garret Kurteff join the lab as MA-PhD students in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.
Welcome Cassandra, Jade, Natalie, and Noora!
The lab welcomes CSD students Cassandra Villarreal, Jade Holder, Natalie Clark, and CSD graduate Noora Raad to our group. They will be working on stimulus transcription for natural stimuli as well as some data collection!
At UT Care Research Day here at UT Austin, we presented research from the lab showing onset and sustained responses to speech and how they might be used in a speech decoder. Mary Lowery's preliminary results on speech and music were also shared with the group.
Liberty gave a talk at the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO) conference in San Diego, CA, as part of the symposium on "Linking theoretical and experimental approaches to understand auditory cortical processing". (Pictured: San Diego seagull giving suggestions for future speech production tasks).
Our new paper with colleagues from the University of California San Francisco on localization, labeling, and warping of electrodes in electrocorticography (ECoG) is now out! The paper includes open source python software for electrode localization, brain plotting, and more.
A paper with our collaborators from the University of California, San Francisco Department of Neurological Surgery and Department of Neurology is now out in the journal Neurosurgery! Read how Maxime Baud and colleagues were able to apply unsupervised machine learning techniques to detecting seizure activity in intracranial EEG.