Nina Kraus, Ph.D., is a scientist, inventor, and amateur musician who studies the biology of auditory learning. She began her career measuring responses from single auditory neurons and was one of the first to show that the adult nervous system has the potential for reorganization following learning; these insights in basic biology galvanized her to investigate auditory learning in humans.
In her deep examination of sound and the brain, Kraus makes the case for the far-reaching impact of sound, showing how hearing engages how we think, feel, move, and combine our senses. Through auditory neuroscience, she discovered how the sounds of our lives engage our neurological health for better (musicians, bilinguals) and for worse (language disorders, autism and other developmental disorders, concussion, HIV, hearing loss). Having witnessed first-hand (in single neurons and humans) how hearing can change the brain, affecting, more than any other sense, our interactions with others, she places a premium on communicating the scientific rationale for engaging in activities to strengthen the hearing brain and our sonic world. The cornerstone of her research is the ambition to improve social communication.
Kraus serves as Professor of Neurobiology, Otolaryngology and the Hugh Knowles Chair in Audiology at Northwestern University.