Nina Kraus is a professor at Northwestern University, investigating the neural encoding of speech and music and its plasticity. Her Auditory Neuroscience Lab examines the neural encoding of sound in the normal system, how it is disrupted in clinical populations, and how it reacts to differing levels of expertise. For individuals with communication difficulties (reading, auditory processing disorder, autism), the neural encoding of speech can provide a biological marker of deficient sound encoding, while the musician’s brain illustrates how extensive auditory expertise can enhance sensory-cognitive interactions. Investigations on brain plasticity are aimed at improving human communication and learning in individuals throughout the life span and in clinical populations.
Kraus’ work is rooted in translational issues, working to bring scientific understanding and new technologies into educational and clinical settings. The Kraus Lab has developed an objective and non-invasive biological approach for the assessment of auditory processing, that is becoming more widely available through partnerships with commercial technologies.