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Donders Lecture: Edward Change - Neural Code of Speech

Everyone Welcome! Thursday 11th may 4pm Red Room @Trigon building (DCCN)

Who: Edward Chang, Professor of Neurological Surgery, University of California(UCSF), San Francisco

Where: Red Room at the Trigon Building (DCCN)

When: Thursday, 11th May 4-5 pm, followed by drinks to mingle and chat 😊

NOTE: Eddie will present new work --> NO RECORDING/STREAMING


Edward Chang is Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco. He is a neurosurgeon who treats adults with difficult-to-control epilepsy, brain tumors, trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm and movement disorders. He specialises in advanced brain mapping methods to preserve crucial areas for speech and motor functions in the brain. He also has extensive experience with implantable devices that stimulate specific nerves to relieve seizure, movement, pain and other disorders.

Chang's research focuses on the brain mechanisms for speech, movement and human emotion. With Jose Carmena, he co-directs the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses, a collaborative enterprise of UCSF and the University of California, Berkeley. The center brings together experts in engineering, neurology and neurosurgery to develop state-of-the-art biomedical technology to restore function for patients with neurological disabilities such as paralysis and speech disorders. Chang earned his medical degree at UCSF, where he also completed a residency in neurosurgery. He was honoured with the Blavatnik National Laureate for Life Sciences in 2015. In 2020, he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, an honour that recognises outstanding achievements and service in the fields of medical sciences, health care and public health. In 2022, he received the Pradel Award in Neurosciences from the National Academy of Sciences.


Speech perception is the process by which vocal sounds are transformed into words. I will review progress in understanding the neural representation of speech sounds in the human temporal gyrus, a brain area that is critical for auditory word recognition. Intracranial recordings have revealed extraordinary detail into the neural representation of speech, providing evidence for encoding of high-order auditory phonetic features as well as syllabic temporal landmarks. New results from other auditory cortical areas, including primary auditory cortex, suggest a provocative new model of parallel, distributed processing for speech processing. These results have implications for conceptual models of speech, and suggest alternatives to the traditional feedforward ventral stream architecture.

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