Carnegie Mellon University

LiMN @ CMU Laboratory

Carnegie Mellon Neuroscience Institute

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham

Barbara Shinn-Cunningham

Lab PI / Director, George A. and Helen Dunham Cowan Professor of Auditory Neuroscience, Neuroscience Institute

  • 254G Baker Hall / 115C Mellon Institute
5000 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Barbara Shinn-Cunningham joined Carnegie Mellon University in 2018 as the director of the Neuroscience Institute. She also holds courtesy appointments in Psychology, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. Before joining CMU, she spent 21 years on the faculty of Boston University. Her research combines behavioral, neuroimaging, and computational methods to understand how the brain processes sound. She has received honors from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Whitaker Foundation and the Vannevar Bush Fellows program. In 2019, she accepted the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal in Psychological and Physiological Acoustics, Speech Acoustics, and Architectural Acoustics. Shinn-Cunningham received the biennial Mentorship Award from the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and is a Fellow of the ASA and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers. She is an associate member of the National Research Council and has been elected vice president of the ASA and to the governing board of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO). She currently serves as a Senior Editor for eLife and as the Treasurer/Secretary of ARO. An author of more than 200 scientific articles, she is recognized for her expertise in spatial hearing, auditory attention and sensory deficits. She has degrees in electrical engineering from Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.