Photo of Duck O. Kim, D.Sc.

Duck O. Kim, D.Sc.

Professor of Neuroscience and Otolaryngology
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3401
Phone: 860-679-3690
Fax: 860-679-8766

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Kim Lab Page

B.S.Seoul National UniversityElectrical Engineering
D.Sc.Washington UniversityBiomedical Engineering

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralWashington Univ. Med. Sch., Physiology & Biophysics
PostdoctoralBell LaboratoriesAcoustics

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Elected Member, Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitae Sacrum (international honor society)Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitae Sacrum
Invited Speaker, Nobel Symposium, "Cellular Mechanisms in Hearing", Karlskoga, Sweden, 1985Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
Elected Fellow of the Acoustical Society of AmericaAcoustical Society of America
Research Career Development Award, 1976-1981National Institutes of Health
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
Collegium Otorhinolaryngologicum Amicitae SacrumProfessional/Scientific OrganizationMemberExternalInternational19952015
Deafness and Other Comm. Disorders Programs Advisory Committee, NIDCD, NIHAdvisory CommitteeMemberExternalNational19941998
National Institutes of Health Hearing ResearchStudy SectionMemberExternalNational19851986
Acoustical Society of AmericaProfessional/Scientific OrganizationFellowExternalNational1982
Neuroscience of the auditory system; computational neuroscience of single neurons and neural systems; otolaryngology research using otoacoustic emissions; biomedical engineering.

Our research seeks to integrate systems-neuroscience experimental investigations with mathematical modeling. Neurophysiological methods include single-unit recording of neurons in the auditory system of awake animals. Modeling methods include digital computer simulations at each of the following levels: ion channels, synapses distributed over the dendrites and soma, single neurons and multi-neuron systems.

Not accepting students for Lab Rotations at this time

Lab Rotation Projects
(in collaboration with Dr. S. Kuwada)

Neural coding of auditory distance
Localizing sounds is important to humans and animals for basic functions such as escape from a threat, capturing a prey, and communication. Neural mechanisms for localizing sounds in two-dimensions, horizontal (azimuth) and vertical (elevation) angles, have been studied extensively. In contrast, mechanisms responsible for localization of distance, the third spatial dimension, are poorly understood. A stimulus of any modality (auditory, visual or tactile) presented at a close distance is particularly potent in evoking a defensive response. This suggests that the brains of humans and animals can recognize distance of a sensory stimulus (including sound) particularly when the stimulus is nearby.

The present study is designed to break a new ground by investigating how the brain processes auditory distance. Physiologically, we will measure how neurons in the rabbit midbrain encode auditory distance. The hypothesis is that neurons of the inferior colliculus (IC) convey information about auditory distance based on a ratio of direct to reverberant signal amplitudes (D/R ratio). We have recorded binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) of the rabbit in a reverberant acoustic chamber. Analysis of the BRIR acoustic signals indicate that D/R ratio systematically changes as a function of auditory distance. In this research, virtual sound fields (with a sound source at a variable location) will be created by combining BRIRs with a source signal and presented to the rabbit. Responses of single neurons in the midbrain of unanesthetized rabbits will be recorded in response to virtual sound fields. Our preliminary observations indicate that the IC neurons exhibit sensitivity to auditory distance.

The knowledge to be gained from this study should be useful in future efforts to maximize the rehabilitative potential of hearing-impaired patients so that optimal performance can be achieved in tasks involving the binaural localization system such as recognizing speech in a noisy cocktail-party setting.

Journal Articles

Conference Papers


Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Duck O. Kim, Brian B. Bishop, Shigeyuki Kuwada, Laurel H. Carney (2015). "Band-Enhanced and Band-Suppressed Rate Modulation Transfer Functions of Inferior Colliculus Neurons and a Model: Effects of Duty Cycle and Rise/Fall Slope"PosterAssociation for Research in Otolaryngology2015Baltimore, MD
Duck O. Kim, Laurel Carney, Brian Bishop, and Shigeyuki Kuwada "A mechanism for neural coding of sound-source distance: Experiment and model"PosterAssociation for Research in Otolaryngology2014San Diego, CA
Kim DO, Bishop BB, Kuwada S (2013). Acoustic modulation transfer functions for human listeners in anechoic and reverberant environments.PosterAsssociation for Research in Otolaryngology2013Baltimore, MD
Kuwad S, Bishop B, Kim DO (2013) Effect of reverberation on neural coding of sound location (where) and pattern (what) in the inferior colliculusPosterAssociation for Research in Orolaryngology2013Baltimore, MD
Duck O. Kim, Brian Bishop, Shigeyuki Kuwada "Auditory Midbrain Neurons` Coding of Location (“Where”) and Content (“What”) of Sounds in Reverberant Environments"LectureInternational Federation of Oto-Rhino-Laryngological Societies2013Seoul, South Korea
Kim D, Kuwada S, Bishop B, Zahorik P (2012). Acoustic modulation transfer functions for human listeners in anechoic and reverberant environments.PosterAssociation for Research in Otolaryngology2012San Diego, CA
Kuwada S, Zahorik, P, Bishop B, Kim DO (2012). What and Where Processing in the Inferior Colliculus SymposiumTalkAssociation for Research in Otolaryngology2012San Diego, CA
Cellular Mechanisms in HearingLectureNobel Symposium1985Karlskoga, Sweden