Dr. Xiaoqin Wang

SLI Title

Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering; Director, Tsinghua-Johns Hopkins Joint Center for Biomedical Engineering Research


My laboratory is interested in understanding the neural basis of auditory perception and vocal communication in a naturalistic environment. We are interested in revealing neural coding mechanisms operating in the cerebral cortex and how cortical representations of biologically important sounds emerge through development and learning. Perception and production of communication sounds (e.g. human speech and animal vocalizations) are among the most important behaviors of humans and many animals species. Because of the complexity and behavioral importance of communication sounds, understanding their neural representations in the cerebral cortex will help reveal computational principles that the brain uses to process a wide range of sounds we experience daily such as speech and music. Understanding how the brain processes such sounds will provide invaluable insights into neural mechanisms underlying human language perception as well as how the brain functions during social interactions. We use a combination of neurophysiological methods and state-of-the-art engineering and computational techniques to tackle our research questions.


1) Neural basis of auditory perception:

  • Neural coding of species-specific vocalizations in a naturalistic environment 
  • Cortical circuits and organization for processing pitch and harmonicity
  • Spatial representation in auditory cortex; neural basis of cocktail-party effect
  • Population coding studied with two-photon imaging technique

2) Neural mechanisms for vocal communication and social interaction:

  • Neural circuits for vocal production and control in the brain
  • Neural mechanisms underlying auditory-vocal interaction and feedback processing
  • Brain functions during social interactions studied with wireless neural recording techniques

3) Cortical processing of cochlear implant stimulation:

  • Neural representations of cochlear implant signals in auditory cortex
  • Developmental and experience-dependent plasticity in cochlear implant usage

Affiliated Research