Cynthia Moss


Ames 200B
Group/Lab Website

Honors and Awards

Cynthia F. Moss is currently a Professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University. She received a B.S. (summa cum laude) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1979 and a Ph.D. from Brown University in 1986. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tübingen (1985-1987), supported by NATO and AAUW Postdoctoral Fellowships, and a Research Fellow at Brown University (1987-1989) before accepting a faculty appointment at Harvard University, beginning in 1989. At Harvard, Dr. Moss received the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award (1992) and was named the Morris Kahn Associate Professor (1994). In 1995, Dr. Moss moved to the University of Maryland, where she was a Professor in the Department of Psychology and ISR until 2014. She served as Director of the Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program (2004-2007) and Co-Director of the Computer and Signal Processing Core of the NINDS P-30 Center for Comparative and Evolutionary Biology of Hearing. She is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the Acoustical Society of America, the International Society for Neuroethology, and the Association for Research in Otolaryngology. Her lab includes undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral researchers, supported by funds from NSF, NIH, AFOSR, ONR and the Human Frontiers Science Program. Dr. Moss received an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1992 and a Berlin Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship in 2000 and 2008. In 2001, Moss was elected a Fellow to the Acoustical Society of America and in 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Moss and her graduate student, Kaushik Ghose, won first place in the multimedia division of the NSF-AAAS Visualization Challenge in 2004. In 2009 Moss and ISR colleagues Horiuchi and Krishnaprasad were awarded ISR Outstanding Systems Faculty of the Year. In 2010 she was recognized with the University of Maryland Regents Faculty Award for Research and Creativity. She has edited two books and published over 100 chapters and research articles.

Moss and her research group investigate the mechanisms of spatial perception, attention, learning and memory, systems used by humans and other animals to direct their actions and navigate in the natural environment. Empirical studies in the lab exploit an animal model that provides explicit information about the signals it uses to guide behavior through an active sensing system. This animal model, the echolocating bat, coordinates its production of sonar signals with flight maneuvers in response to dynamic echo information, and exhibits a rich display of natural sensory-guided behaviors. Moss and her lab members have established methods to collect multi-channel wireless neural recordings from free-flying bats, which allows for the study of brain systems in animals engaged in natural behaviors. Neural recordings now focus on three brain regions: hippocampus, midbrain superior colliculus and somatosensory cortex. Current behavioral studies examine the processing of dynamic acoustic signals for the perception of auditory scenes. The aims of this work are to develop a broad understanding of complex signal processing in biological systems and to establish an empirical foundation for integrative models of spatial information processing, the perceptual organization of natural stimuli, and adaptive motor control.

Elected Fellow of National Organizations

Acoustical Society of America (2001)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (2012)

University of Maryland Awards

Regents' Faculty Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activities (2010)

Institute for Systems Research Outstanding Faculty of the Year Award, with collaborators, Horiuchi and Krishnaprasad (2009)

Other Honors and Awards

Fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study (2000-2001, 2008-2009)

NSF-AAAS Visualization Challenge, First Place in Multimedia Division (2004)

Morris Kahn Endowed Chair (1994)

NSF NYI Award in Science and Engineering (1992-1998)

Phi Beta Kappa Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1992)

Seibert Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biology (AAUW Educational Foundation, 1986-1987)

NATO Postdoctoral Fellowship (National Science Foundation, 1985-1986)

National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship (1981-1984)

Phi Beta Kappa, University of Massachusetts Chapter (1979)