Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2016

Thesis Advisor(s)


Honors Major

Biological Sciences


Medicine and Health Sciences | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Current behavioral and neurophysiologic studies propose that many animals can detect and discriminate the invariant statistics found in natural vocalization (Geffen et. al., 2011; Rodriguez et al., 2010). However, according to current research the neuronal mechanisms underlying the sound discrimination process is still unclear. While numerous auditory statistics have been manipulated, none has varied the temporal and tonal frequency cues independently in their synthetic call sequences, thus it is still uncertain whether rats rely on temporal cues in the sound envelope for communication.

The aim of this research is to determine whether or not rats rely on temporal cues in the sound envelope for call recognition and communication, as humans do similarly during speech perception. Studying the behavior and neural recordings related to sound and speech recognition can aid in the generating a biologically accurate computational model to further medical research of cortical response and pathways of sound and speech recognition.