Master 2013 2014
Stages de la spécialité SAR
Recognition of complex acoustic patterns using speech in ferrets

Site :Département d’Etudes Cognitives
Lieu :Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs, Département d'Etudes Cognitives, Ecole normale supérieure, 29 rue d'Ulm, 75005 Paris
Encadrant : Shihab Shamma
Dates :10.3.14-10.8.14
Rémunération :436,05 / mois
Mots-clés : Parcours ATIAM : Traitement du signal


Human speech is an essential means of communication and it is presently not well understood how the high recognition performance of human listeners is achieved, especially in the context of crowded environments. In the present internship we would like to start approaching this question by training ferrets to recognize complex acoustic stimuli, i.e. speech, in a sequence of distractor stimuli. Once the ferret has achieved competence in recognizing individual words from a single speaker, the generalization to other speakers and background noises will be assessed. Part of the task of the intern will be to construct an automated training setup, which will aid to speed up training times, since the animals can train around the clock. This project will be a precursor to a physiology project, in which the trained ferrets will be recorded from and the brain activity analyzed both before and during recognition. Depending on the progress of the project the intern could also be involved in this part of the bigger project. These techniques will allow us to analyze the computations and expectations which are involved in processing complex acoustic stimuli.


Mesgarani, N., David, S. V, Fritz, J. B., & Shamma, S. A. (2009). Influence of context and behavior on stimulus reconstruction from neural activity in primary auditory cortex. Journal of neurophysiology, 102, 3329–3339. Fritz, J. B., David, S. V, Radtke-Schuller, S., Yin, P., & Shamma, S. a. (2010). Adaptive, behaviorally gated, persistent encoding of task-relevant auditory information in ferret frontal cortex. Nature neuroscience, 13, 1011–9. Fritz, J., Shamma, S., Elhilali, M., & Klein, D. (2003). Rapid task-related plasticity of spectrotemporal receptive fields in primary auditory cortex. Nature neuroscience, 6, 1216–23.