Categories
Ageing Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience EEG / MEG Hearing Loss Neural Filters Papers Publications

New paper in Nature Com­mu­ni­ca­tions by Tune et al.

We are very excit­ed to share that Oble­ser­lab post­doc Sarah Tune has a new paper in Nature Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. „Neur­al atten­tion­al-fil­ter mech­a­nisms of lis­ten­ing suc­cess in mid­dle-aged and old­er par­tic­i­pants“ is our lat­est and to-date most exten­sive out­put of the lon­gi­tu­di­nal ERC Con­sol­ida­tor project on adap­tive lis­ten­ing in age­ing indi­vid­ual (AUDADAPT — include link to https://auditorycognition.com/erc-audadapt/).

This co-pro­duc­tion with cur­rent (Mohsen Alavash and Jonas Obleser) and for­mer (Lorenz Fiedler) Oble­ser­lab mem­bers, takes an in-depth and inte­gra­tive look at how two of the most exten­sive­ly stud­ied neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal atten­tion­al-fil­ter imple­men­ta­tions, alpha pow­er lat­er­al­iza­tion and selec­tive neur­al speech track­ing, relate to one anoth­er and to lis­ten­ing sucess.

Lever­ag­ing our large, rep­re­sen­ta­tive sam­ple of aging lis­ten­ers (N=155, 39–80 years), we show that both neur­al fil­ter imple­men­tatins are robust­ly mod­u­lat­ed by atten­tion but oper­ate sur­prins­ing­ly inde­pen­dent of one another.

In a series of sophis­ti­cat­ed sin­gle-tri­al lin­ear mod­els that include vari­a­tion in neur­al fil­ter strength with­in and between indi­vid­u­als, we demon­strate how the pref­er­en­tial neur­al track­ing of attend­ed ver­sus ignored speech but not alpha lat­er­al­iza­tion boosts lis­ten­ing success.

To learn more, the paper is avail­able here.

Categories
Ageing EEG / MEG fMRI Papers Publications

New Per­spec­tive paper in Neu­ron by Waschke et al.

We are excit­ed to share that for­mer Oble­ser­lab PhD stu­dent Leo Waschke, togeth­er with his new (Doug Gar­rett, Niels Kloost­er­man) and old (Jonas Obleser) lab has pub­lished an in-depth per­spec­tive piece in Neu­ron, with the provoca­tive title “Behav­ior need neur­al vari­abil­i­ty”.
Our arti­cle is essen­tial­ly a long and exten­sive trib­ute to the “sec­ond moment” of neur­al activ­i­ty, in sta­tis­ti­cal terms, essen­tial­ly: Vari­abil­i­ty — be it quan­ti­fied as vari­ance, entropy, or spec­tral slope — is the long-neglect­ed twin of aver­ages, and it holds great promise in under­stand­ing neur­al states (how does neur­al activ­i­ty dif­fer from one moment to the next?) and traits (how do indi­vid­u­als dif­fer from each other?).
Con­grat­u­la­tions, Leo!

Categories
Ageing Degraded Acoustics Editorial Notes Executive Functions Job Offers Uncategorized

We’re hir­ing (again): DFG-fund­ed 3‑year PhD posi­tion, apply by July 12 2020

Categories
Ageing Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception fMRI Hearing Loss Papers Perception Psychology Publications

New paper in eLife: Erb et al., Tem­po­ral selec­tiv­i­ty declines in the aging human audi­to­ry cortex

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Oble­ser­lab post­doc Julia Erb for her new paper to appear in eLife, “Tem­po­ral selec­tiv­i­ty declines in the aging human audi­to­ry cor­tex”.

It’s a trope that old­er lis­ten­ers strug­gle more in com­pre­hend­ing speech (think of Pro­fes­sor Tour­nesol in the famous Tintin comics!). The neu­ro­bi­ol­o­gy of why and how age­ing and speech com­pre­hen­sion dif­fi­cul­ties are linked at all has proven much more elu­sive, however.

Part of this lack of knowl­edge is direct­ly root­ed in our lim­it­ed under­stand­ing of how the cen­tral parts of the hear­ing brain – audi­to­ry cor­tex, broad­ly speak­ing – are organized.

Does audi­to­ry cor­tex of old­er adults have dif­fer­ent tun­ing prop­er­ties? That is, do young and old­er adults dif­fer in the way their audi­to­ry sub­fields rep­re­sent cer­tain fea­tures of sound?

A spe­cif­ic hypoth­e­sis fol­low­ing from this, derived from what is known about age-relat­ed change in neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal process­es in gen­er­al (the idea of so-called “ded­if­fer­en­ti­a­tion”), was that the tun­ing to cer­tain fea­tures would “broad­en” and thus lose selec­tiv­i­ty in old­er com­pared to younger listeners.

More mech­a­nis­ti­cal­ly, we aimed to not only observe so-called “cross-sec­tion­al” (i.e., age-group) dif­fer­ences, but to link a listener’s chrono­log­i­cal age as close­ly as pos­si­ble to changes in cor­ti­cal tuning.

Amongst old­er lis­ten­ers, we observe that tem­po­ral-rate selec­tiv­i­ty declines with high­er age. In line with senes­cent neur­al ded­if­fer­en­ti­a­tion more gen­er­al­ly, our results high­light decreased selec­tiv­i­ty to tem­po­ral infor­ma­tion as a hall­mark of the aging audi­to­ry cortex.

This research is gen­er­ous­ly sup­port­ed by the ERC Con­sol­ida­tor project AUDADAPT, and data for this study were acquired at the CBBM at Uni­ver­si­ty of Lübeck.

Categories
Adaptive Control Ageing Attention Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Speech Processing Executive Functions fMRI Papers Psychology Uncategorized

New paper in PNAS by Alavash, Tune, Obleser

How brain areas com­mu­ni­cate shapes human com­mu­ni­ca­tion: The hear­ing regions in your brain form new alliances as you try to lis­ten at the cock­tail party

Oble­ser­lab Post­docs Mohsen Alavash and Sarah Tune rock out an intri­cate graph-the­o­ret­i­cal account of mod­u­lar recon­fig­u­ra­tions in chal­leng­ing lis­ten­ing sit­u­a­tions, and how these pre­dict indi­vid­u­als’ lis­ten­ing success.

Avail­able online now in PNAS! (Also, our uni is cur­rent­ly fea­tur­ing a Ger­man-lan­guage press release on it, as well as an Eng­lish-lan­guage ver­sion)

Categories
Ageing Auditory Cortex Events Perception Psychology

Sym­po­sium at PuG 2018

Dur­ing the upcom­ing meet­ing of “Psy­chol­o­gy and the Brain 2018”, PhD stu­dent Leo Waschke will be host­ing a sym­po­sium on states and traits of neur­al activ­i­ty and their func­tion­al rel­e­vance for per­cep­tion and age­ing. Togeth­er with Lin­da Geerligs (Don­ders Insti­tute, NL), Marieke Schölvinck (ESI, Frank­furt) and Niels Kloost­er­man (MPIB, Berlin) he will be address­ing fluc­tu­a­tions in brain activ­i­ty on a host of timescales from mil­lisec­onds to min­utes. We are look­ing for­ward to meet­ing you in Giessen.

Categories
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:
https://goo.gl/F4dFfe

Abstract

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. 

 

 

Categories
Adaptive Control Ageing Job Offers Speech Uncategorized

Want to come work with us?

Post­doc posi­tion in the Obleser lab, in the ERC-fund­ed project “Audadapt” — dead­line for appli­ca­tions very soon! (Nov 30 2017). Check out all appli­ca­tions details here!