Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory


Neural encoding of music



Music Slideshow


Rhythm Slideshow


Nina Kraus @ Sound Health 2017
Sound Health (2017)

Nina Kraus and the D.C. Youth Orchestra on Music and Childhood Development

Nina Kraus @ San Diego Symphony ARO 2016
Music in Mind: Nina Kraus & Charles Limb

Special presentation for the Association for Research in Otolaryngology at the San Diego Symphony, 2016

Nina Kraus @ CCMA Stanford 2016
Music and Language - A Brain Partnership

Presentation for the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at the Stanford University, 2016

Music Image

IM Image
Check out the info graphics for our publication Clapping in time parallels literacy and calls upon overlapping neural mechanisms in early readers.



Kraus N, White-Schwoch T. New Connections in Music Therapy and Audiology. Hearing Journal.

Bonacina S, Krizman J, White-Schwoch T, Kraus N. Clapping in time parallels literacy and calls upon overlapping neural mechanisms in early readers. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.


Kraus N, White-Schwoch T. Neurobiology of everyday communication: what have we learned from music? The Neuroscientist.
Woodruff Carr, Fitzroy, Tierney, White-Schwoch, Kraus. Incorporation of feedback during beat synchronization is an index of neural maturation and reading skills. Brain and Language.
Slater, Kraus, Woodruff Carr, Tierney, Azem, Ashley. Speech-in-noise perception is linked to rhythm production skills in adult percussionists and non-musicians. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience.
Slater, Ashley, Tierney, Kraus. Got Rhythm? Better Inhibitory Control Is Linked with More Consistent Drumming and Enhanced Neural Tracking of the Musical Beat in Adult Percussionists and Nonpercussionists Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Slater, Azem, Nicol, Swedenborg, Kraus. Variations on the theme of musical expertise: cognitive and sensory processing in percussionists, vocalists and non-musicians. European Journal of Neuroscience.
Intartaglia, White-Schwoch, Kraus, Schön. Music training enhances the automatic neural processing of foreign speech sounds


Tierney, Kraus. Getting back on the beat: links between auditory-motor integration and precise auditory processing at fast time scales. European Journal of Neuroscience.
Woodruff Carr, Tierney, White-Schwoch, Kraus. Intertrial auditory neural stability supports beat synchronization in preschoolers. Dev Cog Neurosci.


Slater, Kraus. The role of rhythm in perceiving speech in noise: A comparison of percussionists, vocalists and non-musicians. Cog Process.
Tierney, Kraus. Evidence for multiple rhythmic skills. Plos One.
Tierney, Krizman, Kraus. Music training alters the course of adolescent auditory development. PNAS.
Thompson, White-Schwoch, Tierney, Kraus. Beat Synchronization Across the Lifespan: Intersection of Development and Musical Experience. PlosOne
Kraus, Anderson. Beat-Keeping Ability Relates to Reading Readiness. Hearing J.
Slater, Skoe, Strait, O'Connell, Thompson, Kraus Music training improves speech-in-noise perception: Longitudinal evidence from a community-based music program. Behav Brain Res.
Strait, Slater, O’Connell, Kraus. Music training relates to the development of neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention. Dev Cog Neurosci.
Kraus, Strait. Emergence of biological markers of musicianship with school-based music instruction. Annals.
Kraus, Slater. Music and language: relations and disconnections. in The Human Auditory System: Fundamental Organization and Clinical Disorders, 3rd Series.
Skoe, Krizman, Spitzer, Kraus. Prior experience biases subcortical sensitivity to sound patterns. J Cog Neurosci.
Lee, Skoe, Kraus, Ashley. Subcortical Distortion Products Increase the Harmonicity of Consonant Intervals. Music Percept.


Kraus, Hornickel, Strait, Slater, Thompson. Engagement in community music classes sparks neuroplasticity and language development in children from disadvantaged backgrounds . Frontiers in Psych.
Tierney, Kraus. Auditory-motor entrainment and phonological skills: precise auditory timing hypothesis (PATH). Frontiers in Human Neurosci. Kraus, Anderson. Community-based training shows objective evidence of efficacy. Hearing Journal.
Slater, Strait, Skoe, O’Connell, Thompson, Kraus. Longitudinal effects of group music instruction on literacy skills in low-income children. PlosOne.
Kraus, Slater, Thompson, Hornickel, Strait, Nicol, White-Schwoch. Auditory learning through active engagement with sound: Biological impact of community music lessons in at-risk children. Frontiers Aud Cogn Neurosci.
Tierney, Kraus. Neural entrainment to the rhythmic structure of music. J Cog Neurosci.
Woodruff Carr, White-Schwoch, Tierney, Strait, Kraus. Beat synchronization predicts neural speech encoding and reading readiness in preschoolers. PNAS.
Woodruff Carr et al., PNAS Supplemental Information
Kraus, Slater, Thompson, Hornickel, Strait, Nicol, White-Schwoch. Music enrichment programs improve the neural encoding of speech in at-risk children. J Neurosci
Strait, O'Connell, Parbery-Clark, Kraus. Musicians’ enhanced neural differentiation of speech sounds arises early in life: developmental evidence from ages three to thirty. Cerebral Cortex.
Kraus, Anderson. Music benefits across the lifespan: Enhanced processing of speech in noise. Hear Rev
Kraus, White-Schwoch. Music training: Lifelong investment to protect the brain from aging and hearing loss. Acoustics Australia
Strait, Kraus. Biological impact of auditory expertise across the life span: musicians as a model of auditory learning. Hear Res.
Kraus, Zatorre, Strait. Editors’ Introduction to Hearing Research Special Issue: Music, a Window into the Hearing Brain. Hear Res


Tierney, Kraus. Musical training for the development of language skills. In: Changing Brains – Applying Brain Plasticity to Advance and Recover Human Ability.
White-Schwoch, Woodruff Carr, Anderson, Strait, Kraus. Older adults benefit from music training early in life: Biological evidence for long-term training-driven plasticity. J Neurosci
Tierney, Krizman, Skoe, Johnston, Kraus. High school music classes enhance the neural processing of speech. Frontiers Ed Psych.
Tierney, Kraus. The ability to move to a beat is linked to the consistency of neural responses to sound. J Neurosci
Slater, Tierney, Kraus. At-risk elementary school children with one year of classroom music instruction are better at keeping a beat. PlosOne
Parbery-Clark, Strait, Hittner, Kraus. Musical training enhances neural processing of binaural sounds. J Neurosci
Skoe, Kraus. Musical training heightens auditory brainstem function during sensitive periods in development. Frontiers in Psychology
Barrett, Ashley, Strait, Kraus. Art and Science: How Musical Training Shapes the Brain. Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience
Kraus. 20Q: Noise, aging and the brain - how experience and training can improve communication. AudiologyOnline
Strait, OConnell, Parbery-Clark, Kraus. Biological impact of preschool music classes on processing speech in noise. Dev Cog Neurosci.
Tierney, Kraus. Neural responses to sounds presented on and off the beat of ecologically valid music. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.
Kraus. Playing music to improve hearing in noise and tune the brain. ENT & Audiology News.
Kraus. Facing the music: Musianship's effect on the brain. Canadian Hearing Report
Parbery-Clark, Anderson, Kraus. Musicians change their tune: how hearing loss alters the neural code.Hear Res.
Kraus, Anderson. Music training: An antidote for aging? Hearing Journal


Parbery-Clark, Anderson, Hittner, Kraus. Musical experience strengthens the neural representation of sounds important for communication in middle-aged adults. Frontiers
Strait, Parbery-Clark, Hittner, Kraus. Musical training during early childhood enhances the neural encoding of speech in noise. Brain & Language
Skoe & Kraus A little goes a long way: how the adult brain is shaped by musical training in childhood. J Neurosci
Parbery-Clark, Tierney, Strait, Kraus Musicians have fine-tuned neural distinction of speech syllables Neuroscience
Kraus Biological impact of music and software-based auditory training J of Comm Dis
Strait, Chan, Ashley, Kraus Specialization among the specialized: auditory brainstem function is tuned in to timbre Cortex
Parbery-Clark, Anderson, Hittner, Kraus Musical experience offsets age-related delays in neural timing Neurobiol Aging
Kraus, Strait, Parbery-Clark Cognitive factors shape brain networks for auditory skills: spotlight on auditory working memory. Annals of the NYAS


Strait, Hornickel, Kraus Subcortical processing of speech regularities predicts reading and music aptitude in children Behav and Brain Func
Parbery-Clark, Strait, Kraus Context-dependent encoding in the auditory brainstem subserves enhanced speech-in-noise perception in musicians Neuropsychologia
Marmel, Parbery-Clark, Skoe, Nicol, Kraus Harmonic relationships influence auditory brainstem encoding of chords NeuroReport
Strait, Kraus Musical training shapes functional brain networks for selective auditory attention and hearing speech in noise Frontiers in Psych
Parbery-Clark, Strait, Anderson, Hittner, Kraus Musical Experience and the Aging Auditory System: Implications for Cognitive Abilities and Hearing Speech in Noise PLoS ONE
Strait, Kraus Playing Music for a Smarter Ear: Cognitive, Perceptual and Neurobiological Evidence Music Percept
Skoe, Kraus Human subcortical auditory function provides a new conceptual framework for considering modularity. In: Language and music as cognitive systems


Kraus Musical training gives edge in auditory processing Hear Journal
Strait, Kraus, Parbery-Clark, Ashley Musical experience shapes top-down auditory mechanisms: evidence from masking and auditory attention performance Hear Res
Kraus, Chandrasekaran Music training for the development of auditory skills Nat Rev Neurosci
Chandrasekaran, Kraus Music, Noise-Exclusion, and Learning Music Percept
Kraus, Nicol The musician's auditory world Acoustics Today


Parbery-Clark, Skoe, Kraus Musical experience limits the degradative effects of background noise on the neural processing of sound J Neurosci
Parbery-Clark, Skoe, Lam, Kraus Musician enhancement for speech in noise Ear Hear
Lee, Skoe, Kraus, Ashley Selective subcortical enhancement of musical intervals in musicians J Neurosci
Strait, Skoe, Kraus, Ashley Musical experience and neural efficiency: effects of training on subcortical processing of vocal expressions of emotion Eur J Neurosci
Kraus, Skoe, Parbery-Clark, Ashley Experience-induced malleability in neural encoding of pitch, timbre and timing: implications for language and music Annals of the NYAS
Strait, Skoe, Ashley, Kraus Musical experience promotes subcortical efficiency in processing emotional vocal sounds Annals of the NYAS


Musacchia, Strait, Kraus Relationships between behavior, brainstem and cortical encoding of seen and heard speech in musicians and nonmusicians Hear Res
Stegemoller, Skoe, Nicol, Warrier, Kraus Musical training and vocal production of speech and song Music Percept


Musacchia, Sams, Skoe, Kraus Musicians have enhanced subcortical auditory and audiovisual processing of speech and music PNAS
Wong, Skoe, Russo, Dees, Kraus Musical experience shapes human brainstem encoding of linguistic pitch patterns Nature Neurosci




Cognitive factors shape brain networks for auditory skills:
Keynote address at
Society for Music Perception and Cognition (SMPC)
2011 conference


Brainstem Toolbox


Supported by:

Alisa Weilerstein

Alisa Weilerstein, with permission

NSF: Science of Learning Centers Program
NSF: Cognitive Neuroscience Program

The Grammy Foundation

National Association of Music Merchants

Knowles Hearing Center Northwestern University

National Science Foundation, NSF

Grammy  Foundation


Knowles Hearing Center