News

Nominated for 2024 'Open Research' Award

I was nominated for 'Open Research Award' 2024 from Newcastle University for my leading contribution in making 15+ software and 4+ datasets from Auditory Cognition Group as open source.

The Open Research Awards recognises colleagues and students who have used open practices to make research more accessible, transparent or reproducible, and demonstrate an understanding of the aims of open research.

Honorary Mention in 2023 awards from Glitch

My gamification of Bhagavad Gita as a typing web app received an Honorary Mention in the category "Made You Learn" for the 'Last year on Glitch' 2023 roundup awards from Glitch.com.

This project aims to popularize Bhagavad Gita among the younger generation through gamification.

Winner of Maths Inside 2023 photo competition

I won a prize in the adult level for my photo submission entitled "Hollow Mask Illusion" under "the 'why' of shapes" category in the Maths Inside 2023 photo competition that aims to popularize scientific thinking in the general public.

My submission discusses why people do not perceive the obverse side of a mask as a concave face but as a regular face instead. This illusion is robust in general and everyone can be surprised at this trick on the brain unless they suffer from Schizophrenia.

New paper: MMN in early stage Schizophrenia

My latest paper published in Biological Psychiatry: CNNi journal aimed to assess whether Mismatch Negativity (MMN) is reduced in early state psychosis.


Summary: MMN is an event-related potential that occurs when repetitive sounds are interrupted by an occasional sound that differs in frequency or duration. Many studies have shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in this process. Moreover, there is evidence that MMN-deficits may be present in early-stage psychosis.  To investigate this possibility, we employed Magnetoencephalography to establish whether MMN-responses are impaired in participants at Clinical High Risk for psychosis and First Episode Psychosis Patients. Contrary to our hypothesis, MMN-responses were intact, suggesting that MMN may not constitute a biomarker for early detection and diagnosis of psychosis.

https://www.biologicalpsychiatrycnni.org/article/S2451-9022(23)00244-6/fulltext

New paper: EEG on Figure-Ground

My latest paper published in Hearing Research journal aimed to assess potential clinical electroencephalographic (EEG) measures of central auditory grouping (stochastic figure-ground test) and speech-in-noise perception (speech-in-babble test) with and without relevant tasks.

We convey that the brain response to listening in noisy situations can be studied without using speech and in the absence of a relevant task.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378595522000934


New paper: Time Window

My latest paper published in Cerebral Cortex journal aimed to identify the cortical organisation of analysis window in primates. A comparative study of this anatomical organisation of time window processing revealed interesting similarities and differences between humans and non-human primates.

https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhab434

New paper: Auditory Object

My latest paper demonstrates how the brain detects the emergence of a new sound in an ongoing acoustic scene.


https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.15471


Executive Summary:

Our brain can identify any new sound as it appears, separate it from other sounds and represent it as a distinct object in our mind. Since sounds may contain multiple components that vary in frequency and time, this process requires a mechanism that monitors the statistics of the frequency-time space. This work employs artificial sounds and records neuromagnetic signals to demonstrate a specific mechanism in auditory cortex that enables the brain to detect changes in spectro-temporal coherence. 

New paper: Misophonia

My latest paper on functional connectivity in fMRI data acquired from Misophonia sufferers while at rest and when presented with sounds is published in the Journal of Neuroscience. We argue that Misophonia is not a disorder of sound emotion processing but it is a result of hyper mirroring by a part of the motor cortex involved in producing these trigger sounds.

https://www.jneurosci.org/content/41/26/5762

More than 150 news articles have been published around the world on this research.

STEM for Britain 2021

On March 1st 2021, I presented my work to the Houses of UK Parliament as a finalist of the STEM for Britain 2021 contest. My work entitled "A monkey model of auditory scene analysis: How does the brain solve the 'cocktail party problem'?" was presented in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences category.

Here is my presentation:

Congregation

On July 10th 2019, I graduated from Newcastle University, UK with a PhD in Auditory Neuroscience. Here is my interaction with Pro Vice Chancellor Prof David Burn on stage. 

3 Minute Thesis

I was a finalist of 3MT - Three Minute Thesis contest held at Newcastle University on June 5th 2019.

Doctoral Award

On 25th April 2019, I received “Honorable Mention” in 2019 Doctoral Research Awards under ‘Natural and Life Sciences’ category across all UK PhD students awarded by ABTA.

https://www.abtanet.org.uk/awards/dra2019 

Pradeep_D-SFG-poster-v2.pdf

New paper: Cocktail party effect

In my paper, published in Nature Scientific Reports, I explored whether monkeys are a good model of human brain mechanisms underlying auditory segregation colloquially known as the cocktail party effect. I show that monkeys recruit similar regions of the auditory brain as humans to segregate overlapping sounds. So I propose that monkeys are a good model to understand how single neurons accomplish separation of sounds that overlap during auditory scene analysis.

Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36903-1

Thesis Defended

On October 25th 2018, I successfully defended my Neuroscience PhD thesis titled "A primate model of human cortical analysis of auditory objects".

Pradeep_Dheerendra-Thesis.pdf

New paper: Bird brain

In my new paper published in European Journal of Neuroscience, we investigated bird brain to confirm whether gamma oscillations exist in their hippocampus - a part of the brain that facilitates spatial memory which is known to be excellent in birds viz. seasonal migration, homing, food burial and retrieval etc.  We employed invitro electrophysiology (i.e. record electrical activity from brain slices which have been artificially kept alive for few hours) and neuropharmacology (selectively bathe the brain slices in specific neurochemicals to elicit an electrical response) to address this question. We found gamma oscillations in juvenile chicken hippocampus, which were elicited by chemicals that activate cholinergic receptors (agonists). This is unlike in adult mammals where both cholinergic and glutamatergic mechanisms are known to exist. The goal of this line of work is to identify any similarities and differences in the neural circuitry generating gamma rhythms in birds and mammals that can help us identify the evolutionarily conserved and divergent aspect of rhythm generation in the brain.

Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ejn.13773

New paper: Auditory Motion

In my new paper published in PLOS Biology, we investigated the brain mechanisms underlying auditory motion processing in the primate brain.  We address an important question: Is auditory motion perception deduced from processing individual static sounds, or are there mechanisms in the auditory domain dedicated to detecting motion? We find  specific auditory motion detectors located in the auditory cortex of primates located near visual motion detectors suggesting coordination between these areas to achieve limb and eye movement.

Link: http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2001379