Director: Dr. Lee M. Miller

The Speech Neuroengineering and Cybernetics Laboratory (Miller Lab) is located in the Center for Mind & Brain (http://mindbrain.ucdavis.edu) at the University of California, Davis. Our research uses techniques such as EEG, functional MRI, and machine learning to translate fundamental scientific results into real-world solutions for people with hearing loss, speech disorders, and motor impairments. Among our current projects are a patented brain-based hearing loss diagnostic (U.S. Patent No. 10,729,387), as well as a wearable “attentional prosthesis” and mobile app that will help listeners understand speech in noisy environments.

Why we’re here

Countless normal listeners have trouble with speech communication, particulary in noisy environments.  Unfortunately, certain special populations have even greater difficulty.  By far the most numerous are those with hearing loss, now numbering 30 million Americans and half a billion worldwide.  Depression, loneliness, and social anxiety are common conditions afflicting those (particularly older adults) who suffer this reduced ability to communicate.  Untreated hearing loss in the U.S. costs tens of billions of dollars annually.  The human costs are immeasurable.

Results from our research are leading to practical solutions such as: improved audiological diagnosis and targeting, improved hearing-device design (wearable aids and implants), better speech recovery after device fitting, improved training on listening strategies, and enhanced social integration among special populations. Our research has been made possible by the generous support of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Google, Meta/Facebook, the Child Family Fund for the CMB, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Intel Corporation, the Department of Defense, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, and Accenture.

Support our efforts

If you’d like to support our efforts to understand and treat hearing loss, please contact Professor Miller directly, or visit our Center for Mind & Brain Fund page and indicate that your donation is intended for the Miller Lab. Thank you!