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Micheal Dent, Ph.D.

Ph.D., University of Maryland
B76 Park Hall
(716) 645-0266
Personally maintained website
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Summary of Research Interests

My Comparative Bioacoustics Laboratory investigates acoustic communication in animals. We take a comparative approach, measuring hearing and vocalizations in a number of different animals, including birds and mice. We conduct psychoacoustic studies of hearing using operant conditioning techniques, we perform preference tests in naïve animals, and we record sonic and ultrasonic vocalizations from our subjects in various contexts. Current lines of investigation in the bird lab include sequential and simultaneous auditory stream segregation using simple and complex sounds, music perception, and human speech perception. Current lines of investigation in the mouse lab include simple measures of auditory processing such as time and intensity perception, the perception of ultrasonic vocalizations, the role of noise in masking of simple and complex signals, and the preference for certain vocalizations over others. As a whole, these studies are designed to describe a more complete and accurate picture of acoustic communication, a process vital for survival in these animals.

Representative Publications

  • Ryals, B.M., Dent, M.L., and Dooling, R.J. (2013).  Return of function after hair cell regeneration.  Hearing Research 297, 113-120.
  • Radziwon, K.E., Welch, T.E., Cone, J.P., and Dent, M.L. (2011). Identification of auditory distance cues by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).  J. Acoust. Soc. Am 129, 3384-3392.
  • Welch, T.E., and Dent, M.L. (2011). Lateralization of acoustic signals by dichotically listening budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).  J. Acoust. Soc. Am.130, 2293-2301.
  • Dent, M.L., McClaine, E.M., Best, V., Ozmeral, E., Gallun, F.J., Narayan, R., Sen, K., and Shinn-Cunningham, B.G. (2009).  Spatial unmasking of birdsong by zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) and budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus).  Journal of Comparative Psychology 123, 357-367.
  • Dent, M.L., Tollin, D.J., and Yin, T.C.T. (2009).  Influence of sound source location on the behavior and physiology of the precedence effect in cats.  Journal of Neurophysiology 102, 724-734.
  • Radziwon, K.E., June, K.M., Stolzberg, D.J., Xu-Friedman, M.A., Salvi, R.J., and Dent, M.L. (2009).  Behaviorally measured audiograms and gap detection thresholds in CBA/CaJ mice.  Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology 195, 961-969.
  • Welch, T.E., Sawusch, J., and Dent, M.L., (2009).  Effects of syllable-final duration on the identification of synthetic speech continua by birds and humans.  Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 126, 2779-2787.
  • Dent, M.L., Welch, T.E., McClaine, E., and Shinn-Cunningham, B.G. (2008).  Species differences in the identification of acoustic stimuli by birds.  Behavioural Processes 77, 184-190.