Edmund Lalor’s research focuses on how the human brain selects and encodes information from the many signals we sense in everyday life. This includes research on basic sensory encoding in the visual and auditory systems and on how that encoding is affected by cognition and in various clinical and developmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.
The Lalor lab devotes substantial energy to developing novel experimental and neural signal processing methods to enable the analysis of electrophysiological responses to complex and naturalistic stimuli. In that vein, the lab has put forward significant effort in recent years aimed at understanding the neurophysiology of receptive speech and language processing and how it is affected by attention and multisensory input. A key focus at present is how top-down predictions (e.g., based on context or language knowledge) feed back to affect perception. The lab is interested in this issue as a means to understand what may be a very fundamental and general principle of human brain function, but also with the goal of understanding and explaining some of the symptomatology of conditions like autism and schizophrenia. Ultimately, the hope is that a better mechanistic understanding of the causes of that symptomatology will lead to better remediation therapies and better outcomes for people with these disorders.