Grants awarded

Auditory structured sequence learning on multiple timescales 

Grantholder:

Dr Alice Milne

University College London

United Kingdom

The brain is highly sensitive to the regularities present throughout the auditory environment, and uses them in many ways; for example, if the brain learns the predictable order of sounds made by a car engine, it can efficiently identify it as a source of irrelevant noise, freeing cognitive resources for other tasks such as driving. Regularities also play an important role in language, dictating the relationship between syllables in words or the order of words in a sentence. These regularities have been studied to better understand language acquisition and evolution. However, there are few interactions between language-motivated and scene-motivated research. I intend to integrate these fields to find out whether these separate research areas tap into the same brain mechanisms.

My findings will illuminate the role of sequence learning across cognitive processes and has the potential to advance our understanding of language disorders.