Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2014
For outstanding contributions to auditory neuroscience, especially information processing in  auditory attention and spatial hearing.

Experts Study Marine Mammals To Learn About Human Hearing

Via Carnegie Mellon University | June 30, 2022

Many hearing loss patients have the same complaint: They have trouble following conversations in a noisy space. Carnegie Mellon University’s Barbara Shinn-Cunningham has spent her career conducting research to better understand this problem and how it affects people at cocktail parties, coffee shops and grocery stores.

Now, along with a team of researchers from six universities, Shinn-Cunningham, the director of CMU’s Neuroscience Institute (NI) and the George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Auditory Neuroscience, is looking for answers in an unexpected place. The researchers will conduct noninvasive experiments on free-swimming dolphins and sea lions… Continue reading.

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham To Lead Carnegie Mellon’s New Neuroscience Institute

Via Carnegie Mellon University | February 27, 2018

Building on years of momentum in advancing brain science research, Carnegie Mellon University has appointed renowned auditory neuroscientist Barbara Shinn-Cunningham to help establish a new, cross-disciplinary neuroscience institute that will create innovative tools and technologies critical to advancing brain science.

Shinn-Cunningham is currently the director of Boston University’s Center for Research in Sensory Communication and Emerging Neural Technology (CRESCENT) and has been on BU’s faculty since 1997. Trained as an electrical engineer, Shinn-Cunningham is interested in how information is processed in the brain.

“With the creation of this institute and the appointment of Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Carnegie Mellon is renewing its commitment to neuroscience research and education,” said Laurie Weingart, interim provost. “Together they will position the university to accelerate our strengths, bridge new connections across campus and bring in new talent, ideas and resources — all to work to understand some of the brain’s biggest mysteries… Continue reading.

When Your Eyes Move, So Do Your Eardrums

Via The Atlantic | January 23, 2018

Without moving your head, look to your left. Now look to your right. Keep flicking your eyes back and forth, left and right.

Even if you managed to keep the rest of your body completely still, your eyeballs were not the only parts of your head that just moved. Your ears did, too. Specifically, your eardrums—the thin membranes inside each of your ears—wobbled. As your eyes flitted right, both eardrums bulged to the left, one inward and one outward. They then bounced back and forth a few times, before coming to a halt. When you looked left, they bulged to the right, and oscillated again.


Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, from Boston University, also studies the neuroscience of hearing, and she is more circumspect. “It is a very interesting and previously unknown phenomenon, which may turn out to be incredibly important,” she says, “But so far, there is no evidence it is. We just don’t yet know why it happens or what it means… Continue reading.

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Ph.D. To be Inducted into Medical and Biological Engineering Elite

Via AIMBE | January 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) has announced the pending induction of Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Founding Director, Center for Computational Neuroscience and Neural Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, to its College of Fellows. Dr. Shinn-Cunningham was nominated, reviewed, and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows For outstanding contributions to auditory neuroscience, especially information processing in auditory attention and spatial hearing.