Alan R. Palmer of the Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, UK has been named recipient of the William and Christine Hartmann Prize in Auditory Neuroscience by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). The award was presented at the 171st meeting of the ASA on May 25, 2016 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Prize was established in 2011 through a generous donation by Bill and Chris Hartmann to the ASA to recognize and honor research that links auditory physiology with auditory perception or behavior in humans or other animals.
"Since its creation in 1929 the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) has been one of the leading forums for researchers from across the world to showcase and discuss their research in all aspects of hearing. It is therefore an absolute honor to be recognized by the ASA for my work," said Palmer. "I have known Bill Hartmann and admired his contributions to the field for many years, so it is an even more special honor to receive the award created by him and Christine."
Alan Palmer's research has been directed at understanding the mechanisms within the brain that underlie our perception of sound. Over many years, Alan and his colleagues have used a number of methods that have allowed them to view the electrical activity of nerve cells within the auditory nervous system in animals. By carefully sculpting the sounds that are presented while recording the neural activity, the sensitivity of the nerve cells to different aspects of sound can be investigated. Using such methods, the processing that underlies our perception of communication sounds, our ability to localize sounds and the ability to separate simultaneous sound sources have been investigated. More recently, Palmer and colleagues have been using these and other methods to investigate the neural activity that may give rise to the perception of phantom sounds (tinnitus).
Alan Palmer earned a Ph.D. in Communication and Neuroscience from the University of Keele. He joined the MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University of Nottingham, UK in 1985 serving as Senior Grade Scientist, Assistant Director, Deputy Director, and Director. He is also Honorary Professor of Neuroscience, Life Sciences, University of Nottingham.
Palmer is a Member of the Editorial Board of Audiology and Neuro-Otology (1985-), Co-editor of Oxford University Press Handbook of Auditory Science (2010-), and Member of the Editorial Board of Hearing Research (2014-). He has served on the organizing committees of several international conferences and as member of committees such as the Auditory Commission of the International Union of Physiological Sciences (1998-01), Research Advisory Panel of the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (2006-10), and Deafness Research UK Scientific Advisory Panel (2008-13). At the Association for Research in Otolaryngology he served on its International Committee (1998-04), Program Organising Committee (2003-06), Award of Merit Committee (2004-2007) and Publications Committee (2010-13).
The Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is the premier international scientific society in acoustics devoted to the science and technology of sound. Its 7000 members worldwide represent a broad spectrum of the study of acoustics. For more information about the Society visit our website, http://www.