- General public
The Phi Beta Kappa Zeta Chapter of Maryland at St. Mary's College of Maryland is pleased to welcome Dr. Cynthia Moss, Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, with joint appointments in Neuroscience and Mechanical Engineering, at Johns Hopkins University as it's ninth PBK Visiting Scholar.
Humans tend to rely heavily on vision to navigate, but blind individuals must make use of other senses. Indeed, some blind humans produce tongue clicks and listen to echoes reflecting from objects in their surroundings, similar to echolocating bats and dolphins. In this lecture, Dr. Moss will present details on the sound features that are used for echolocation by animals and blind humans and the acoustic cues they use to localize objects in the environment. She will also discuss the contribution of spatial attention and memory to the execution of behavioral tasks without vision. By comparing echolocating animals and humans, we can identify biological specializations and general principles that operate to support spatial navigation.
Professor Moss studies echolocating bats to understand sensory information processing in the natural environment. She received a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a PhD from Brown University. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Tübingen, Germany and a Research Fellow at Brown University before joining the faculty at Harvard University in 1989. At Harvard, Moss received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award and the NSF Young Investigator Award. In 1995, she moved to the University of Maryland, College Park, where she served as Director of the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program. In 2014, Moss joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University, where she is Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Her recent awards include the Hartmann Award in Auditory Neuroscience (2017), the James McKeen Cattell Award (2018) and the Alexander von Humboldt Research Prize (2019). She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Acoustical Society of America and the International Society for Neuroethology.