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Jason Mikiel-Hunter is a neuroscientist who has been studying how mammals are able to locate and track sounds in their natural environment. Having entered the field of auditory neuroscience by the ear where he investigated the biophysics of outer hair cells (those cells responsible for actively amplifying sounds), he moved into the brainstem during his PhD to explore the different strategies employed by mammals to locate sounds on the horizontal plane. Combining electrophysiological recordings of auditory brainstem neurons with computational simulations, his findings have pointed to the incredible speed and precision bestowed upon these specialized neurons by their biophysical properties, while highlighting the varying strategies they employ to calculate the difference in arrival time of sounds at either ear.

After completing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at University College London, he moved to New York where he worked as a postdoc with Prof. John Rinzel at NYU.  His current work at Macquarie University in Prof. McAlpine’s group explores how amplitude-modulated envelope encoding in the early auditory system can be exploited by binaural nuclei in the brainstem.  He makes use of computational modelling alongside psychoacoustics to determine those stimulus features important to sounds localization.


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