Lori L. Holt, PhD

  • Adjunct Professor, Neuroscience





Personal Website


Education & Training

PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999)


335F Baker Hall, CMU

Research Grants

Co-director of B2 Graduate Training Grant

Research Interest Summary

Auditory cognitive neuroscience, with a focus on spoken language

A spoken syllable may persist in the world for a mere tenth of a second. Yet, as adult listeners, we are able to gather a great deal of information from these floating acoustic signals. We may apprehend the physical location of the speaker, the speaker's gender, regional dialect, age, emotional state, and identity, as well as the linguistic message. The ease of everyday conversation belies the complexity involved.

Research in my lab focuses on the cognitive processes that underlie this feat, using speech processing as a platform for investigating learning, plasticity, categorization, cross-modal processing, object recognition, memory, attention and development. Among our current projects, we are investigating the learning that occurs in acquiring the sounds of a second language and how representations of the native language interact with this learning; how listeners' "tune" their auditory perception to the statistical regularities of the sound environment; and how higher-level knowledge may influence early auditory object recognition and speech categorization. The major approach we use is to study human adult (and sometimes child) participants using perception and learning tasks. In addition, we make use of eye-tracking and behavioral methods with nonhuman animals. Students in the lab are also making use of functional imaging to address the neural bases of auditory processing.

Simultaneously recorded subthalamic and cortical LFPs reveal lexicality effects during reading aloud. Chrabaszcz, A., Wang, D., Lipski, W.J., Bush, A., Crammond, D.J., Shaiman, S., Dickey, M.W., Holt, L.L., Turner, R.S., Fiez, J.A., Richardson, R. M. (2021). Journal of Neurolinguistics, 60, 101019.

The learning signal in perceptual tuning of speech: Bottom-up vs. Top-down information. Zhang, X., Wu, Y. C., & Holt, L. L. (2021). Cognitive Science. 45, e12947, doi: 10.1111/cogs.12947.

Nevertheless, it persists: Perceptual recalibration and normalization of speech impact different levels of representation. Lehet, M. & Holt, L. L. (2020). Cognition, 202,104328.

Adaptive plasticity under adverse listening conditions is disrupted in developmental dyslexia. Gabay, Y. & Holt, L. L. (2020). Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, doi:10.1017/S1355617720000661

Attentional modulation of neural entrainment to sound streams in children with and without ADHD. Laffere, A., Dick, F. Holt, L. L. & Tierney, A. (2020). Neuroimage, 224, 117396. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117396.

Incidental categorization of vibrotactile stimuli. Martinez, J. S., Holt, L. L., Reed, C. M., & Tan, H. Z. (2020). IEEE Transactions on Haptics.

Generalization of dimension-based statistical learning. Idemaru, K. & Holt, L. L. (2020). Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 82, 1744-1762.

Tailored perception: listeners’ strategies for perceiving speech fit their individual perceptual abilities. Jasmin, K. Dick, F., Holt, L. L., & Tierney, A. T. (2019). Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149, 914-934. PMC7133494.

Incidental learning of non-speech auditory analogs scaffolds second language learners' perception and production of Mandarin lexical tones. Wiener, S., Murphy, T. K., Goel, A., Christel, M. G., & Holt, L. L. (2019). Proceedings of the International Conference on Phonetic Sciences.

Analyzing human reaction time for talker change detection. Sharma, N., Ganesh, S., Ganapathy S., and Holt, L.L. "Analyzing Human Reaction Time for Talker Change Detection." in Proceedings of IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), pp. 7135-7139. IEEE, 2019