Elise A. Piazza


I am a C. V. Starr postdoctoral fellow at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute. I received my Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015 and my B.A. from Williams College in 2009.

I study communication, from the perspective of both the perceiver and the producer, using behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging techniques and highly naturalistic paradigms.

Within the realm of perception, I am broadly interested in how the brain represents speech and music and how the auditory system uses summary statistics to efficiently process and learn about complex natural sounds. From the perspective of production, I study how speakers adapt their voices to the demands of unique audiences (e.g., infants). Finally, to understand the real-time dynamics of communication at the biological level, I use neural coupling as a measure of interpersonal alignment to predict communicative success and learning outcomes.

September 2018: Our paper revealing rapid perceptual adaptation to the complex spectral property of natural sounds known as timbre is out in Scientific Reports. Download fun animal morphs and other demos here!

July 2018: Our preprint, showing infant-caregiver neural coupling and dynamic tracking of real-time communicative behaviors, is out in bioRxiv!

March 2018: My dissertation work on audio-visual statistical learning, and how it quickly helps us disambiguate noisy environments, is out in the Journal of Vision.

October 2017: Our study on universal acoustic shifts in infant-directed speech is published in Current Biology. Check out some of the press coverage in The Washington Post and on PBS News Hour!

CV (pdf) | google scholar | flickr