Stephen Van Hedger
Stephen Van Hedger, PhD.
Postdoctoral Fellow, Room: WIRB 4115
My research focuses on fundamental questions in the domain of learning and memory on the one hand, and in the domain of pattern understanding on the other. The way in which I integrate these two areas of research is through the study of perceptual expertise – specifically, how it develops and is how it is maintained by the environment. Much of my research has focused on music and speech as a model systems, in part because there is such variability in these domains. In music, using a combination of behavioral and fMRI paradigms, my current focus is on how individual and environmental factors contribute to the learning and memory of absolute pitch categories. In speech, using a combination of behavioral, fMRI, and EEG paradigms, my current focus is on the development of talker-specific representations, with a particular emphasis on how perceptual expertise with a given talker can improve speech understanding in challenging listening environments.