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Personal profile

Research Interests

Professor Wright and her students explore the general principles of auditory learning, a process that leads to dramatic improvements in perceptual skills. The lab seeks to identify the circumstances that are necessary for learning to occur as well as those that disrupt learning. These principles are examined using stimuli ranging from simple sounds to speech, and tasks ranging from fine-grained discrimination to categorization and intelligibility. For example, the lab has demonstrated that exposure to an acoustic stimulus can facilitate learning on a perceptual task, but only when that exposure occurs within ~30 minutes of practice on that task. Although the lab's research program focuses on normal adults, it also pursues how learning changes with age, sensory experience (hearing loss), and cognitive background (e.g., language and reading disorders). One proposal currently under study with a learning paradigm is that individuals with reading disorders often perform poorly on auditory perceptual tasks because their perceptual development is delayed in childhood and then halted during adolescence. Thus, research on perceptual learning may lead to more effective training strategies for those with perceptual disorders and may be used as objective, clinical measures to guide diagnosis and treatment of cognitive disorders.

Education/Academic qualification

English and Linguistics, BA, Indiana University Bloomington

Experimental Psychology, PhD, University of Texas at Austin

Research interests

  • Auditory learning
  • Cognitive background
  • Hearing loss
  • Perceptual development
  • Sensory experience

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  • Research Output

    Extended high frequency hearing and speech perception implications in adults and children

    Hunter, L. L., Monson, B. B., Moore, D. R., Dhar, S., Wright, B. A., Munro, K. J., Zadeh, L. M., Blankenship, C. M., Stiepan, S. M. & Siegel, J. H., Jan 1 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Hearing research. 107922.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 2 Scopus citations

    Inducing musical-interval learning by combining task practice with periods of stimulus exposure alone

    Little, D. F., Cheng, H. H. & Wright, B. A., Jan 15 2019, In : Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. 81, 1, p. 344-357 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Scopus citations

    Perceptual-learning evidence for inter-onset-interval- and frequency-specific processing of fast rhythms

    Ning, R., Trosman, S. J., Sabin, A. T. & Wright, B. A., Feb 15 2019, In : Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. 81, 2, p. 533-542 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Semi-supervised learning of a nonnative phonetic contrast: How much feedback is enough?

    Wright, B. A., LeBlanc, E. K., Little, D. F., Conderman, J. S. & Glavin, C. C., May 31 2019, In : Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics. 81, 4, p. 927-934 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • The value of homework: Exposure to odors in the home cage enhances odor-discrimination learning in mice

    Fleming, G., Wright, B. A. & Wilson, D. A., Jan 29 2019, In : Chemical Senses. 44, 2, p. 123-128 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations