Keith R. Kluender

Research Interests / Training Areas:

  • Perception of Complex Sounds
  • Speech Perception
  • Perceptual Learning and Plasticity
  • Models of Sensorineural Systems


I earned my B.S. in Psychology with minors in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology in 1979 from Carroll College in Waukesha, Wisconsin. After earning a Master’s degree in Experimental Psychology at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, I earned a PhD. In Experimental Psychology from The University Of Texas at Austin. My first faculty position was at the University of Wisconsin - Madison beginning in 1988 until I came to Purdue to serve as Professor and Head of the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences.

All of our research is designed to help us better understand how people hear complex sounds such as speech, how experience shapes the way we hear our world, and how we use what we hear to guide our actions and to communicate. These questions inspire us to be interdisciplinary in our thinking and experimental methods. Our work is at an intersection between traditional problems in perception, cognitive psychology, communication disorders, computer science, electrical engineering, linguistics, neuroscience, and philosophy. We always begin with quite general principles of perception, and our work is frequently informed by approaches to analogous issues for vision, particularly information theory and Bayesian models. The interdisciplinary nature of our research encourages the use of many experimental tools. We study the performance of human listeners in a broad array of psychophysical and learning tasks. We use neurophysiological data to reveal auditory processes and to inform models of learning and plasticity. We use computational simulations of hearing and learning to generate and test new hypotheses. Although our emphasis is upon basic questions, our work is being extended to clinical problems of hearing impairment and language delay, and to practical solutions such as cochlear prosthetics (implants), hearing aid design, and computer speech recognition.

Recent Publications:

Stilp, C.E., Goupell, M.J., & Kluender, K.R. (2013). “Speech perception in simulated electric hearing exploits information-bearing acoustic change.” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 133(2), EL136-EL141. PMCID: PMC3562329

Kluender, K.R., Stilp, C.E., & Kiefte, M. (2013). “Perception of vowel sounds within a biologically realistic model of efficient coding”. 117-151. In G. S. Morrison and P. F. Assmann (eds.), Vowel Inherent Spectral Change, Modern Acoustics and Signal Processing, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-14209-3_6,Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Stilp, C.E., & Kluender, K.R. (2012). “Efficient coding and statistically optimal weighting of covariance among acoustic attributes in novel sounds.” PLoS ONE 7(1): e30845. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0030845

Alexander, J. M., Jenison, R. L., & Kluender, K. R. (2011).  “Real-time contrast enhancement to improve speech recognition.” PLoS ONE 6(9): e24630. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0024630

Stilp, C.E., Rogers, T.T., & Kluender, K.R. (2010). “Rapid efficient coding of correlated complex acoustic properties.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107(50), 21914-21919.

Stilp, C.E., & Kluender, K.R. (2010). “Cochlea-scaled spectral entropy, not consonants, vowels, or time, best predicts speech intelligibility.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 107(27), 12387-12392.

Kluender, K.R. & Alexander, J.M. (2008). "Perception of speech sounds." In A.I. Basbaum, A. Kaneko, G.M. Shepard, & G. Westheimer, (Eds.), The Senses: A Comprehensive Reference, Vol. 3, Audition, P. Dallos & D. Oertel (Eds.), pp. 829-860,. San Diego: Academic Press

Kluender, K.R. & Kiefte, M. (2006). "Speech perception within a biologically-realistic information-theoretic framework."  In M.A. Gernsbacher and M. Traxler (Eds.) Handbook of Psycholinguistics, pp 153-199. London, Elsevier.Francis, A.L., & Nusbaum, H.C. (2009).  Effects of intelligibility on working memory demand for speech perception.  Attention, Perception and Psychophysics,71(6), 1360-1374.

Keith Kluender
Professor and Department Head
Lyles-Porter Hall

Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, Lyles-Porter Hall, 715 Clinic Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2122, PH: (765) 494-3789

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