Parks Faculty

Yan Gai, Ph.D.,<br/>Assistant Professor

Yan Gai, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor


Ph.D. Bioengineering
Syracuse University

M.S. Bioengineering
Syracuse University

M.E. Electrical Engineering
South China University of Technology

B.S. Electrical Engineering
South China University of Technology

Dr. Yan Gai became an assistant professor in Biomedical Engineering at Parks College in Fall 2014. Prior to joining SLU, she was a postdoc at University of Wisconsin-Madison studying sound localization with behavioral and physiological approaches for four years. She had also had a postdoc training at New York University, where she specialized in computational neuroscience and dynamic-clamps recordings in brainslices. Her research in the auditory field goes back to her Ph.D study at Syracuse University.

Dr. Gai’s research aims to understand how the brain processes sound information and how we may improve designs of hearing aids and cochlear implants to help people with hearing impairments and communication disorders. At the behavioral level, she assesses humans’ and animals’ ability to perceive and separate sound sources from interfering backgrounds. At the physiological level, she examines how single neurons interact with external input and networks.

Dr. Gai loves to create computation models to explain her findings. She has experience with various computational models at the cellular, systems, or psychophysical levels.  

Dr. Gai’s research combines behavioral, electrophysiological, and computational approaches to study the mammalian auditory pathways in sound perception and localization. She compares single-neuron or neural-network responses with animals’ or humans’ behaviors and develops computational models to explain her findings.

Below is a list of Yan Gai’s selected publications. For more information on each publication, please visit the Parks College Publication Database.

Printed Archival Peer-Reviewed Journals
  • Gai Y, Ruhland J, Yin TC (2014b). Localization of Click Trains and Speech By Cats: The Negative Level Effect. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol. In press.
  • Gai Y, Kotak VC, Sanes DH, Rinzel J (2014a). On the Localization of Complex Sounds: Temporal Encoding Based on Input-Slope Coincidence Detection of Envelopes. J Neurophysiol. 112: 802-813. doi: 10.1152/jn.00044.2013.
  • Gai Y, Ruhland J, Yin TC (2013b). Effects of Forward Masking on Sound Localization in Cats: Basic Findings with Broadband Maskers. J Neurophysiol. 110:1600-1610. doi: 10.1152/jn.00255.2013.
  • Gai Y, Ruhland J, Yin TC, Tollin D (2013a). Behavioral and Modeling Studies of Sound Localization in Cats: Effects of Stimulus Level and Duration. J Neurophysiol. 110: 607-620. doi: 10.1152/jn.01019.2012.
  • Gai Y, Doiron B, Rinzel J (2010). Slope-Based Stochastic Resonance: How Noise Enables Phasic Neurons to Encode Slow Signals. PLoS Comput Biol 6:e1000825. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000825.
  • Gai Y, Doiron B, Kotak V, Rinzel J (2009). Noise-Gated Encoding of Slow Inputs by Auditory Brainstem Neurons with a Low-Threshold K+ Current. J Neurophysiol 102:3447-3460. doi: 10.1152/jn.00538.2009.

Neuroengineering Laboratory

The Neuroengineering Lab’s research combines behavioral, electrophysiological, and computational approaches to study functions and mechanisms of the mammalian auditory pathways in speech perception and sound localization. The lab’s first project involves simulating cochlear-implant hearing with a noise-vocoding technique.