C(SD)2 - Computational, Speech, Sensory, Development & Diseases Lab

[pronounced “CSD-two lab”]

Focus of Lab

Collaborative, inter-professional efforts in separate human and animal laboratories investigate environmental and genetic influences on the normal and abnormal development of sensory processing. Current research involves an animal model of autism as well as studies of complex auditory processing in human volunteers after ear surgery and those with ADHD and ASD.

Animal Models of Genetic/Environmental Influences on Hearing

Collaborating with Dr. Mark Gabriele in the JMU biology department, we are using a mouse model to investigate the roles of specific signaling proteins in the development of multi-sensory perceptions. We believe this to be a useful model of autism. See https://www.breezejmu.org/news/jmu-researchers-look-to-explore-autism-causes-with-grant/article_bd9f4ac6-1edb-11eb-8cb8-9fc34d28b169.html.

Human Studies of Sounds that are Distracting

cognitive aural atresia

Collaborating with Dr. Bradley Kesser at the University of Virginia, we are investigating how people born without an external auditory meatus adapt to the novel input from their ‘new ear’ after surgical correction of their birth defect. We have developed a ‘deployable’ stereo-hearing test system that packs up much like a picnic basket and is mailed to participants’ homes. We measure the many advantages of hearing with two ears, including sound localization and better understanding of speech in noise. We showed that this remote testing was equivalent to supervised tests in the clinic, and so we join the trend to tele-health (actually ‘tele-research’). At JMU we are attempting to develop a measure of distractibility; the extent to which various forms of background noise interfere with auditory ‘focus’.  Anyone interested in participating as an ‘experimental’ (ASD, ADHD, hearing loss in one ear, or someone with or without musical training) or control subject is invited to contact graylc@jmu.edu.

Computational Models of Disease Spread

See http://www.csd.jmu.edu/csdsquared/ for explanations and interactive visualizations of how oral and breast cancers, vaccination rates, and immigrants ‘spread’. An innovative method, called ‘constructed cartography,’ makes a ‘map’ of our body as ‘seen’ by the tumor.  It involves measures of ‘separations’ (conversely proximities) that are not physical distances. COVID has temporarily halted collaborations with surgeons at the Tata Memorial Cancer Centre in Mumbai, India, to analyze different patterns of metastases from oral cancers (the most common neoplasm in India) and breast cancers (very rare in India). Anyone who might go to Mumbai and would like to help is welcome to contact graylc@jmu.edu.


Director: Lincoln Gray

Other Faculty:


Some recently graduated students who worked in the labs:

Past Collaborators:

Current Projects in the lab; sources of funding