Nina Kraus is the Hugh Knowles Professor of Communication Sciences, Neurobiology, and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University. She is a scientist, inventor, and amateur musician who uses hearing as a window into brain health.
She began her career measuring responses from single auditory neurons and was one of the first to show that the adult nervous system has the potential for reorganization following learning; these insights in basic biology galvanized her to investigate sound processing in the brain in humans.
Through a series of innovative studies involving thousands of research participants from birth to age 90, her research has found that our lives in sound, and our experiences, for better (musicians, bilinguals) and for worse (concussion, language disorders, aging), shape how our brain makes sense of the sounds we hear.
Using the principles of neuroscience to improve human communication, she advocates for best practices in education, health, and social policy. See www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu