Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Speech Processing Psychology

SNAP 2017 was a vast success

SNAP 2017 took place on Decem­ber 8 and 9 in Lübeck, Germany.

Nine inter­na­tion­al­ly esteemed speak­ers and in total more than six­ty researchers from all over Europe, Cana­da and the US made the sec­ond Sig­nal and Noise Along the Audi­to­ry Path­way work­shop a mem­o­rable occa­sion in audi­to­ry neuroscience.

Thanks to every­body for com­ing out!, and see you all again for SNAP 2019, at a loca­tion to be announced.

Ageing Auditory Neuroscience EEG / MEG Papers Publications

New paper online by Waschke, Wöst­mann & Obleser

Read all about neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty in aging brains and how it relates to per­cep­tu­al deci­sions: New paper by PhD stu­dent Leo Waschke. 

Now avail­able online:


Sen­so­ry rep­re­sen­ta­tions, and thus human per­cepts, of the phys­i­cal world are sus­cep­ti­ble to fluc­tu­a­tions in brain state or “neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty”. Fur­ther­more, aging brains dis­play altered lev­els of neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty. We here show that a sin­gle, with­in-tri­al, infor­ma­tion-the­o­ret­ic mea­sure (weight­ed per­mu­ta­tion entropy) cap­tures neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty in the human elec­troen­cephalo­gram as a proxy for both, trait-like dif­fer­ences between indi­vid­u­als of vary­ing age, and state-like fluc­tu­a­tions that bias per­cep­tu­al deci­sions. First, the over­all lev­el of neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty increased with par­tic­i­pants’ age, par­al­leled by a decrease in vari­abil­i­ty over time, like­ly index­ing age-relat­ed changes at struc­tur­al and func­tion­al lev­els of brain activ­i­ty. Sec­ond, states of high­er neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty were asso­ci­at­ed with opti­mized sen­so­ry encod­ing and a sub­se­quent­ly increased prob­a­bil­i­ty of choos­ing the first of two phys­i­cal­ly iden­ti­cal stim­uli to be high­er in pitch. In sum, neur­al irreg­u­lar­i­ty not only char­ac­ter­izes behav­ioural­ly rel­e­vant brain states, but also can iden­ti­fy trait-like changes that come with age. 




SNAP 2017 — Timetable now online!

SNAP 2017 is draw­ing clos­er. Get ready and take a look at the program:

Day 1: 08.12.2017
08:00 — 09:10 Reg­is­tra­tion / Open­ing remarks
09:10 — 10:00 Edmund Lalor
10:00 — 10:50 Sarah Ver­hulst
10:50 — 11:10 Cof­fee break
11:10 — 12:00 Christoph Kayser
12:00 — 12:30 Dis­cus­sion (Impuls­es by Son­ja Kotz)
12:30 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 14:50 Tom Fran­cart
14:50 — 15:40 Nima Mes­garani
15:40 — 16:00 Cof­fee break
16:00 — 18:00 Posters and beers
19:00 Speak­ers Din­ner at Bud­dha Bowl
21:00 SNAP Par­ty at Gang 56
Day 2: 09.12.2017
09:30 — 10:20 Jen­nifer Bizley
10:20 — 11:10 Sami­ra Anderson
11:10 — 11:30 Cof­fee break
11:30 — 12:20 Maria Chait
12:20 — 12:50 Dis­cus­sion (Impuls­es by Thomas Münte)
13:00 — 14:00 Lunch
14:00 — 14:50 Josh McDer­mott
14:50 — 15:30 Round-table / Wrap-up
Events Probandensuche Publications

Audi­to­ry cog­ni­tion newsletter

Come and see our very first audi­to­ry cog­ni­tion newslet­ter. From now on we want to present impres­sions of our lat­est work and results twice a year. In the inter­view sec­tion you also have the chance to learn more about our members. 

Please note: As the newslet­ter also reach­es our par­tic­i­pants it is writ­ten in german.


SNAP2017 draw­ing closer!

Save your slot at the SNAP2017 work­shop in Lübeck (Decem­ber 8–9). Reg­is­tra­tion is avail­able at and will end soon! A first line-up is already live. Sub­mis­sion dead­line for the Posters will be July 31st, accep­tance noti­fi­ca­tions will be sent out in August 2017.

The work­shop will bring togeth­er, for two days of sci­ence, about 12 inter­na­tion­al speak­ers on neu­ro­science, psy­chophysics and engi­neer­ing per­spec­tives on pro­cess­ing degrad­ed sound and speech.

© az1172/ Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]
Adaptive Control Ageing Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience EEG / MEG Evoked Activity Executive Functions Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Papers Perception Publications

New paper in press: Hen­ry et al., Nature Communications

Here comes a new paper in Nature Com­mu­ni­ca­tions by for­mer AC post­doc Mol­ly Hen­ry, with for­mer fel­low post­doc AC alum­nus Björn Her­rmann, our tire­less lab man­ag­er, Dun­ja Kunke, and myself! It is a late (to us quite impor­tant) result from our lab’s tenure at the Max Planck in Leipzig, 

Hen­ry, M.J., Her­rmann, B., Kunke, D., Obleser, J. (In press). Aging affects the bal­ance of neur­al entrain­ment and top-down neur­al mod­u­la­tion in the lis­ten­ing brain. Nature Communications. 

—Con­grat­u­la­tions, Molly!

Attention Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Speech Processing EEG / MEG Papers Psychology Publications

New paper in press in Jour­nal of Neur­al Engi­neer­ing: Fiedler et al. on in-ear-EEG and the focus of audi­to­ry attention

Towards a brain-con­trolled hear­ing aid: PhD stu­dent Lorenz Fiedler shows how attend­ed and ignored audi­to­ry streams are dif­fer­ent­ly rep­re­sent­ed in the neur­al respons­es and how the focus of audi­to­ry atten­tion can be extract­ed from EEG sig­nals record­ed at elec­trodes placed inside the ear-canal and around the ear.

Objec­tive. Con­ven­tion­al, mul­ti-chan­nel scalp elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG) allows the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the attend­ed speak­er in con­cur­rent-lis­ten­ing (‘cock­tail par­ty’) sce­nar­ios. This implies that EEG might pro­vide valu­able infor­ma­tion to com­ple­ment hear­ing aids with some form of EEG and to install a lev­el of neu­ro-feed­back. Approach. To inves­ti­gate whether a listener’s atten­tion­al focus can be detect­ed from sin­gle-chan­nel hear­ing-aid-com­pat­i­ble EEG con­fig­u­ra­tions, we record­ed EEG from three elec­trodes inside the ear canal (‘in-Ear-EEG’) and addi­tion­al­ly from 64 elec­trodes on the scalp. In two dif­fer­ent, con­cur­rent lis­ten­ing tasks, par­tic­i­pants ( n  =  7) were fit­ted with indi­vid­u­al­ized in-Ear-EEG pieces and were either asked to attend to one of two dichot­i­cal­ly-pre­sent­ed, con­cur­rent tone streams or to one of two diot­i­cal­ly-pre­sent­ed, con­cur­rent audio­books. A for­ward encod­ing mod­el was trained to pre­dict the EEG response at sin­gle EEG chan­nels. Main results. Each indi­vid­ual par­tic­i­pants’ atten­tion­al focus could be detect­ed from sin­gle-chan­nel EEG response record­ed from short-dis­tance con­fig­u­ra­tions con­sist­ing only of a sin­gle in-Ear-EEG elec­trode and an adja­cent scalp-EEG elec­trode. The dif­fer­ences in neur­al respons­es to attend­ed and ignored stim­uli were con­sis­tent in mor­phol­o­gy (i.e. polar­i­ty and laten­cy of com­po­nents) across sub­jects. Sig­nif­i­cance. In sum, our find­ings show that the EEG response from a sin­gle-chan­nel, hear­ing-aid-com­pat­i­ble con­fig­u­ra­tion pro­vides valu­able infor­ma­tion to iden­ti­fy a listener’s focus of attention.
EEG / MEG Neural Oscillations Papers Perception Publications

New paper in press: Alavash et al. in Net­work Neuroscience

We are proud to pub­lish our recent study on how net­work dynam­ics of beta-band oscil­la­tions in the human brain medi­ate response speed in audi­to­ry per­cep­tu­al deci­sion-mak­ing. This work will appear soon in the first vol­ume of the promis­ing jour­nal Net­work Neu­ro­science.

Pre-print link

Per­cep­tu­al deci­sions vary in the speed at which we make them. Evi­dence sug­gests that trans­lat­ing sen­so­ry infor­ma­tion into behav­ioral deci­sions relies on dis­trib­uted inter­act­ing neur­al pop­u­la­tions, with deci­sion speed hing­ing on pow­er mod­u­la­tions of neur­al oscil­la­tions. Yet, the depen­dence of per­cep­tu­al deci­sions on the large-scale net­work orga­ni­za­tion of cou­pled neur­al oscil­la­tions has remained elu­sive. We mea­sured mag­ne­toen­cephalog­ra­phy sig­nals in human lis­ten­ers who judged acoustic stim­uli made of care­ful­ly titrat­ed clouds of tone sweeps. These stim­uli were used under two task con­texts where the par­tic­i­pants judged the over­all pitch or direc­tion of the tone sweeps. We traced the large-scale net­work dynam­ics of source-pro­ject­ed neur­al oscil­la­tions on a tri­al-by-tri­al basis using pow­er enve­lope cor­re­la­tions and graph-the­o­ret­i­cal net­work dis­cov­ery. Under both tasks, faster deci­sions were pre­dict­ed by high­er seg­re­ga­tion and low­er inte­gra­tion of cou­pled beta-band (~16–28 Hz) oscil­la­tions. We also uncov­ered brain net­work states that pro­mot­ed faster deci­sions and emerged from low­er-order audi­to­ry and high­er-order con­trol brain areas. Specif­i­cal­ly, deci­sion speed in judg­ing tone-sweep direc­tion crit­i­cal­ly relied on nodal net­work con­fig­u­ra­tions of ante­ri­or tem­po­ral, cin­gu­late and mid­dle frontal cor­tices. Our find­ings sug­gest that glob­al net­work com­mu­ni­ca­tion dur­ing per­cep­tu­al deci­sion-mak­ing is imple­ment­ed in the human brain by large-scale cou­plings between beta-band neur­al oscillations.