School of Communication

Nina Kraus

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Professor of Neurobiology & Physiology, Otolaryngology, Hugh Knowles Chair
Frances Searle Building
2240 Campus Drive, Room 2-346
Evanston, IL 60208-2952
Graduate Programs: Communication Sciences, Neuroscience

Nina Kraus investigates the neurobiology underlying speech and music perception and learning-associated brain plasticity. She studies normal listeners throughout the lifespan, clinical populations (poor-readers; autism; hearing loss), auditory experts (musicians, bilinguals) and an animal model. In addition to being a pioneering thinker who bridges multiple disciplines (aging, development, lieteracy, music, and learning), Dr. Kraus is a technological innovator who roots her research in translational science.

Lab Affiliations

Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, Director

Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience


PhD Northwestern University
BA Swarthmore College

Recent Publications

Full list of publications

Krizman J, Marian V, Shook A, Skoe E, Kraus N. (in press) Subcortical encoding of sound is enhanced in bilinguals and relates to executive function advantages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1121359109.

Kraus N. (2011) Listening in on the listening brain. Physics Today. 64(6): 40-45.

Strait DL, Hornickel J, Kraus N. (2011) Subcortical processing of speech regularities predicts reading and music aptitude in children. Behavioral and Brain Functions. 7:44.

Kraus N, Chandrasekaran B. (2010) Music training for the development of auditory skills. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. 11:599-605

Hornickel J, Skoe E, Nicol T, Zecker S, Kraus N. (2009) Subcortical differentiation of voiced stop consonants: relationships to reading and speech in noise perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106(31): 13022–13027.

Tzounopoulos T, Kraus N. (2009) Learning to encode timing: mechanisms of plasticity in the auditory brainstem. Neuron 62(4): 463-469.

Recent Awards and Honors

Keynote addresses and invited talks

Recent Grants and Funding

More than 20 years of federal funding.

2012-2017 A preschool biomarker for literacy. National Institute of Health, NICHD R01-HD069414, P.I.
2010-2015 Neural correlates of auditory function and training in older adults. National Institute of Health, NIDCD R01 DC010016, P.I.
2010-2013 Musical experience in older adults: impact on hearing speech in noise. National Science Foundation, BCS-1057556, P.I.
2009-2012 Impact of musical experience on the nervous system: development of sound transcription, cognitive function and perception. National Science Foundation, BCS-0921275, P.I.


CSD 310 Biological Foundations of Speech and Music
CSD 425 Electrophysiology of the Human Auditory System
CSD 525 Seminar: Topics in Central Auditory Neuroscience