The research direction of the Sector was formed in 1960 when the Laboratory of speech physiology headed by Prof. L. A. Chistovich and the Laboratory of speech biophysics headed by Medical Sciences Doctor V. A. Kozhevnikov founded. In 1981, the latter Laboratory was included into the Laboratory of speech physiology.
In 1986 the head of this laboratory became Biological Sciences Candidate (PhD) V. V. Lyublinskaya. In 1995 the Laboratory was transformed into the Sector of study of verbal signals. The main attention of the Sector was focused on studies of structure of acoustical verbal signals and regularities of their auditory perception.
The Sector is specialized on experimental study of psychophysiological mechanisms of human auditory-verbal perception and regularities of its development of its development in the process of ontogenesis.
The general approach to the investigation human speech perception, which was laid by the founders of this direction, is maintained by the Sector staff at present. Its central aspect is consideration of the process of acoustic communication from positions of a complex information system reflecting structure and principles of organization of the human verbal behavior.
The fundamental studies carried out prior to the 1980s have allowed revealing the principally important psychophysical aspects of speech perception as well as developing a functional model of transformation of verbal signals in the human auditory system.
Since 1996 the priority directions of the Sector works were added by studies on processes of formation of communicative functions in children of the early age in norm and during various disturbances of the auditory-verbal system. A part of this works performed at examination of children with normal hearing under conditions of the mother-child verbal communication at various stages of learning of the native language was reflected in the creation (together with Department of child's speech of A. I. Herzen St. Petersburg State Pedagogic University) of a specialized archives of samples of child's verbal behavior?–?the phonoreading book « Speech of the Russian Child » . Apart from theoretical results, this study has also turned out to be connected with a new development in the field of practical medicine. Of importance is the whole complex of works on analysis of pain vocalizations of babies with disturbances of the central nervous system; as a result, « The Way of Differentiated Diagnostics of Perinatal Cerebral Pathology » was created on the basis of the expert evaluation of pain cries of children of the early age; it was developed together with St. Olga Hospital (St. Petersburg) and is successfully used under clinical conditions.
At present the main attention of the Sector is paid to the problem of studying mechanisms providing the noise-resistant and invariant (constant) recognition of verbal signals under various acoustic conditions as well as regularities of their formation in the process of ontogenesis. One of the first subjects of this study were children with the expressive speech disturbances. As a result, dependence was revealed of formation of skills of the noise-resistant speech perception on the level of development of child's psychic processes (intellect, memory, selective attention) as well as no the degree of the child's learning of the main language rules.
Subsequently, study of this problem was continued in the work with deaf children after the operation of cochlear implantation (the electrode hearing prosthetics) that has been performed on the basis of St. Petersburg Research Institute of Ear, Throat, Nose and Speech of the Russian Federation Ministry of Health. For the methodical supply of this direction there was created a specialized hardware-software complex for testing and perceptive training of patients, which allows forming an acoustic environment of any degree of complexity. In the theoretical aspect the experimental observations on the rehabilitation process of the verbal hearing in deaf children with cochlear implants have allowed making important conclusions about peculiarities of the hearing-verbal development of the pre- and postlingual patients and about the key role of central mechanisms of processing of verbal signals.
These studies are actively continuing at present and acquire the priority character from the point of view development of new approaches to rehabilitation of the human hearing-verbal function and obtaining the more profound theoretical knowledge about the nature of the acoustic speech perception.
Models of substance flows are constructed, which are absorbed by cell across the membrane, based on the general concept of a channel combining all qualitative kinds of channels. An analytical criterion of substance competition under conditions of their absorption is obtained. A method is developed of determination of sensitivity of the myocyte contractile activity to changes of the degree of stretch and tension of the blood vessel wall.
Development of model of primate behavior under conditions of variable maze. Development of method of separation of the mass center trajectory into components reflecting process of its stabilization relative to the reference point and its relocation. Development of method of identification of parameters of the process of stabilization of the human hand isometric effort.
New planned direction of activity of the Sector is as follows. Development of a method that makes it possible, on the basis of fluctuations of the human body segments, to reveal temporal patterns of activities of the muscles connected with them. Development of method of determination of structure of the feedback providing maintenance of the equilibrium state of the vascular wall. On the base of model of regulation of the digestion process, creation of the Window-compatible interactive addendum allowing not only study of interaction of hydrolysis products, enzymes, and other elements participating in the digestion process, but also modeling of a number of pathologies.Development of a standard user's software for data analysis in typical experimental investigations.