The Beauchamp Lab (directions to the lab are here) studies the neural mechanisms for multisensory integration and visual perception in human subjects; anatomically, the primary focus of the lab is on the superior temporal sulcus, a brain area critical for the integration of auditory and visual information and for the perception of complex visual motion, such as mouth movements. Many everyday tasks require us to integrate information from multiple modalities, such as during conversation when we make use of both the auditory information we hear in spoken speech and the visual information from the facial movements of the talker. Multisensory integration is especially important under conditions in which one modality is degraded, such as in a noisy room. To understand the neural mechanisms of multisensory integration and visual perception, we use a variety of methods, including electrocorticography (ECoG) and blood-oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD fMRI). Through these sophisticated studies, we hope to unlock one of nature's great mysteries: how the brain performs amazing computational feats, such as understanding speech, that allow us to make sense of the auditory and visual world around us. Every advance in deepening our knowledge of these processes is not only exciting for its own sake but will also help children and patients with language and perceptual difficulties.
Beauchamp Lab Photo, August 2017. Left to Right: Patrick Karas, M.D. (Neurosurgery Resident). Kira Wegner-Clemens (Post-Bac full-time Research Assistant). Muge Ozker, Ph.D. (recently graduated Ph.D. student). Michael Beauchamp, Ph.D. (PI). Kristen Smith (undergraduate part-time Research Assistant). John Magnotti, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor). Lin Zhu (M.D./Ph.D. student). Johannes Rennig, Ph.D. (postdoctoral fellow). Jacqunae Mays (graduate student who completed lab rotation).
Dr. Beauchamp is the Director of Research in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Director of CAMRI, the Core for Advanced MRI and a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine with adjunct appointments at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School and Rice University. His laboratory examines multisensory integration and visual perception using a variety of techniques, including BOLD fMRI, electrocorticography, and computational modeling. He graduated from Harvard College in 1992, receiving his PhD from the University of California, San Diego in 1997 before pursuing postdoctoral studies in the National Institute of Mental Health Intramural Research Program.