Taffeta Elliott Lab




Taffetta Elliott

Taffeta Elliott, PhD, is uncovering how the brain makes sense of communication sounds.

The Elliott lab takes three approaches to see how vocal signals gain social significance:

1) South African clawed frogs call in murky ponds at night to find their place in a social hierarchy, and to court other individuals for mating.  By recording brain activity in the lab, we study how the brain actively generates a perception of calls that leads to different kinds of social decisions.

2) Biodiversity in the Rio Grande valley is threatened by invasive species humans introduced for food, like the vociferous American bullfrog.  Through acoustic recordings, we monitor how this loud voracious predator is driving out native species.  Tracking bullfrogs informs conservation efforts by refuge wildlife staff. 

3) Voices vary just as richly as other instruments do.  We are interested in how the physical structure of sound gives listeners salient features recognizable as speech or music.