PhD degree successfully defended by Richard Ian McWalter

Wednesday 14 Jun 17
by Eva Helena Andersen


Torsten Dau
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 77


Jens Hjortkjær
Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 30 29 16 90

On May 23, Richard Ian McWalter successfully defended his PhD thesis, "Perceptual and neural response to sound texture". In his work, a new area for the Hearing Systems group, McWalter explored four main topics: the nature of the temporal integration of sound texture statistics, the neural locus of sound texture recognition, the role of second-order amplitude modulation cues, and how cochlear damage may alter the statistics of sound textures.

Sound textures correspond to the sounds generated from the superposition of many similar acoustic events (e.g., ocean waves, applauding crowds, sparrows chirping, swamp insects, etc.). This research program not only explores fundamental auditory processes involved in sound-source recognition and auditory-scene analysis, but it also has potentially important practical applications in audio coding, sound synthesis and the screening, diagnosis and rehabilitation of sensorineural hearing loss.

The examination committee was impressed both with the quality of his pioneering work and his ability to answer difficult questions.

Richard McWalter is now a PostDoc in Josh McDermott's Laboratory for Computation Audition in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT in Boston.

Examiner Associate Professor Ewen MacDonald, DTU Elektro
Co supervisor Jens Hjortkjær, DTU Elektro

PhD Richard Ian McWalter

Principal Supervisor Professor Torsten Dau, DTU Elektro

Examiners: Associate Professor Maria Chait, University College London, UK

and Professor Christian Lorenzi, Ecole Normale Superieure, France