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New paper out: Erb, Hen­ry, Eis­ner & Obleser — Jour­nal of Neuroscience

We are proud to announce that PhD stu­dent Julia Erb just came out with a paper issued in Jour­nal  of Neu­ro­science:

The Brain Dynam­ics of Rapid Per­cep­tu­al Adap­ta­tion to Adverse Lis­ten­ing Conditions

Effects of adaptation

Grab it here:


Lis­ten­ers show a remark­able abil­i­ty to quick­ly adjust to degrad­ed speech input. Here, we aimed to iden­ti­fy the neur­al mech­a­nisms of such short-term per­cep­tu­al adap­ta­tion. In a sparse-sam­pling, car­diac-gat­ed func­tion­al mag­net­ic res­o­nance imag­ing (fMRI) acqui­si­tion, human lis­ten­ers heard and repeat­ed back 4‑band-vocod­ed sen­tences (in which the tem­po­ral enve­lope of the acoustic sig­nal is pre­served, while spec­tral infor­ma­tion is high­ly degrad­ed). Clear-speech tri­als were includ­ed as base­line. An addi­tion­al fMRI exper­i­ment on ampli­tude mod­u­la­tion rate dis­crim­i­na­tion quan­ti­fied the con­ver­gence of neur­al mech­a­nisms that sub­serve cop­ing with chal­leng­ing lis­ten­ing con­di­tions for speech and non-speech. First, the degrad­ed speech task revealed an “exec­u­tive” net­work (com­pris­ing the ante­ri­or insu­la and ante­ri­or cin­gu­late cor­tex), parts of which were also acti­vat­ed in the non-speech dis­crim­i­na­tion task. Sec­ond, tri­al-by-tri­al fluc­tu­a­tions in suc­cess­ful com­pre­hen­sion of degrad­ed speech drove hemo­dy­nam­ic sig­nal change in clas­sic “lan­guage” areas (bilat­er­al tem­po­ral cor­tices). Third, as lis­ten­ers per­cep­tu­al­ly adapt­ed to degrad­ed speech, down­reg­u­la­tion in a cor­ti­co-stri­a­to-thal­a­mo-cor­ti­cal cir­cuit was observ­able. The present data high­light dif­fer­en­tial upreg­u­la­tion and down­reg­u­la­tion in auditory–language and exec­u­tive net­works, respec­tive­ly, with impor­tant sub­cor­ti­cal con­tri­bu­tions when suc­cess­ful­ly adapt­ing to a chal­leng­ing lis­ten­ing situation.


  • Erb J, Hen­ry MJ, Eis­ner F, Obleser J. The brain dynam­ics of rapid per­cep­tu­al adap­ta­tion to adverse lis­ten­ing con­di­tions. J Neu­rosci. 2013 Jun 26;33(26):10688–97. PMID: 23804092. [Open with Read]