Categories
Ageing Auditory Neuroscience Clinical relevance Editorial Notes Hearing Loss Neural dynamics Uncategorized

It’s a wrap: The ERC Con­sol­ida­tor Project “Audadapt” has suc­cess­ful­ly ended

Six years in our lab with the age­ing, adapt­ing, lis­ten­ing brain and mind cen­ter-stage have come to a suc­cess­ful close.  Jonas’ ERC Con­sol­ida­tor grant had been grant­ed dur­ing the Audi­to­ry Cog­ni­tion lab’s tenure at the Max Planck Insti­tute in Leipzig orig­i­nal­ly, and it has shaped our start and set­tling-in at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Lübeck ever since 2016.

Jonas: “In total almost 500 ses­sions of behav­iour, EEG and fMRI record­ed; more than 160 brave Lübeck folks and their brains fol­lowed lon­gi­tu­di­nal­ly over two years; 25 pub­li­ca­tions put out; and not least two PhDs fin­ished and five post­doc careers kick­start­ed — I am very grate­ful for the help of all these peo­ple, my host Insti­tu­tion Uni­ver­si­ty of Lübeck and the Euro­pean Research Coun­cil (ERC) hav­ing made this all hap­pen. Thank you all.”

All data will be or are already pub­licly avail­able on OSF, and we will update our ded­i­cat­ed AUDADAPT” project page once the final report is in.

Categories
Clinical relevance Grants Hearing Loss Job Offers

New research grant with Sivantos

Jonas and the lab are hap­py and thank­ful to announce a new research project fund­ed by Sivan­tos, Erlan­gen. We are look­ing very much for­ward to a renewed col­lab­o­ra­tion with the audi­o­log­i­cal sci­ence team around Ron­ny Han­ne­mann, begin­ning in Octo­ber 2019.

The three-year project will look into the psy­cho­log­i­cal and neu­ro­bi­o­log­i­cal chal­lenges of attend­ing and ignor­ing for nor­mal-hear­ing and hear­ing-impaired lis­ten­ers in com­plex acoustic scenes.

Categories
Auditory Perception Clinical relevance Papers Perception Psychology Publications

New paper out in the ‘Euro­pean Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science’: Tune, Wöst­mann & Obleser

AC post­docs Sarah Tune and Malte Wöst­mann have a new paper out online in the spe­cial issue on Neur­al Oscil­la­tions in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science! We are excit­ed to share the results from our first study of the ERC-fund­ed project on lis­ten­ing behav­ior and adap­tive con­trol in mid­dle-aged adults. In this study, we asked whether the fideli­ty of alpha pow­er lat­er­al­iza­tion would serve as a neur­al mark­er of selec­tive audi­to­ry atten­tion in the age­ing lis­ten­er. The results of our mul­ti­vari­ate approach demon­strate that under­stand­ing inter-indi­vid­ual dif­fer­ences is para­mount to under­stand­ing of the role of alpha oscil­la­tions in audi­to­ry atten­tion across age.

Tune, S., Wöst­mann, W., & Obleser, J. (2018) Prob­ing the lim­its of alpha pow­er lat­er­al­i­sa­tion as a neur­al mark­er of selec­tive atten­tion in mid­dle-aged and old­er listeners.

Now avail­able online:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.13862/full/

 

Categories
Adaptive Control Attention Auditory Working Memory Clinical relevance Executive Functions fMRI Papers Psychology Publications Uncategorized

New paper in press in ‘Neu­roim­age’: Alavash, Lim, et al

Oble­ser­lab post­doc Mohsen Alavash and Oble­ser­lab Alum­na Sung-Joo Lim are in press at Neu­roim­age!

They argue with data from a place­bo-con­trolled dopamin­er­gic inter­ven­tion study that BOLD sig­nal vari­abil­i­ty and the func­tion­al con­nec­tome are sur­pris­ing­ly clear­ly affect­ed by L‑Dopa, and (ii) that the degree of change in these met­rics can explain the degree to which indi­vid­u­als will prof­it from L‑DOPA in per­form­ing the chal­leng­ing lis­ten­ing task (while oth­ers dont; Preprint here ).

Alavash, M., Lim, S.J., Thiel, C., Sehm, B., Deser­no, L., & Obleser, J. (2018) Dopamin­er­gic mod­u­la­tion of hemo­dy­nam­ic sig­nal vari­abil­i­ty and the func­tion­al con­nec­tome dur­ing cog­ni­tive per­for­mance. Neu­roim­age. In press.

— Thanks also and in par­tic­u­lar to our col­leagues Chris­tiane Thiel of Old­en­burg, and Bern­hard Sehm and Lorenz Deser­no of Leipzig, who helped us made this large-scale L‑DOPA project happen!

 

 

Categories
Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Brain stimulation Clinical relevance Degraded Acoustics Hearing Loss Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Papers Psychology Speech

New paper in press with the Old­en­burg brain-stim­u­la­tion crew!

AC alum­na Anna Wilsch has a new paper in press in Neu­roim­age, with Toralf Neul­ing, Jonas Obleser, and Christoph Her­rmann: “Tran­scra­nial alter­nat­ing cur­rent stim­u­la­tion with speech envelopes mod­u­lates speech com­pre­hen­sion”. In this proof-of-concept–like paper, we demon­strate that using the speech enve­lope as a “pilot sig­nal” for elec­tri­cal­ly stim­u­lat­ing the human brain, while a lis­ten­er tries to com­pre­hend that speech sig­nal buried in noise, does mod­u­late the listener’s speech–in–noise com­pre­hen­sion abilities.

The Preprint is here, … 

… while the abstract goes like this:
Cor­ti­cal entrain­ment of the audi­to­ry cor­tex to the broad­band tem­po­ral enve­lope of a speech sig­nal is cru­cial for speech com­pre­hen­sion. Entrain­ment results in phas­es of high and low neur­al excitabil­i­ty, which struc­ture and decode the incom­ing speech sig­nal. Entrain­ment to speech is strongest in the theta fre­quen­cy range (4−8 Hz), the aver­age fre­quen­cy of the speech enve­lope. If a speech sig­nal is degrad­ed, entrain­ment to the speech enve­lope is weak­er and speech intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty declines. Besides per­cep­tu­al­ly evoked cor­ti­cal entrain­ment, tran­scra­nial alter­nat­ing cur­rent stim­u­la­tion (tACS) entrains neur­al oscil­la­tions by apply­ing an elec­tric sig­nal to the brain. Accord­ing­ly, tACS-induced entrain­ment in audi­to­ry cor­tex has been shown to improve audi­to­ry per­cep­tion. The aim of the cur­rent study was to mod­u­late speech intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty exter­nal­ly by means of tACS such that the elec­tric cur­rent cor­re­sponds to the enve­lope of the pre­sent­ed speech stream (i.e., enve­lope-tACS). Par­tic­i­pants per­formed the Old­en­burg sen­tence test with sen­tences pre­sent­ed in noise in com­bi­na­tion with enve­lope-tACS. Crit­i­cal­ly, tACS was induced at time lags of 0 to 250 ms in 50-ms steps rel­a­tive to sen­tence onset (audi­to­ry stim­uli were simul­ta­ne­ous to or pre­ced­ed tACS). We per­formed sin­gle- sub­ject sinu­soidal, lin­ear, and qua­drat­ic fits to the sen­tence com­pre­hen­sion per­for­mance across the time lags. We could show that the sinu­soidal fit described the mod­u­la­tion of sen­tence com­pre­hen­sion best. Impor­tant­ly, the aver­age fre­quen­cy of the sinu­soidal fit was 5.12 Hz, cor­re­spond­ing to the peaks of the ampli­tude spec­trum of the stim­u­lat­ed envelopes. This find­ing was sup­port­ed by a sig­nif­i­cant 5‑Hz peak in the aver­age pow­er spec­trum of indi­vid­ual per­for­mance time series. Alto­geth­er, enve­lope tACS mod­u­lates intel­li­gi­bil­i­ty of speech in noise, pre­sum­ably by enhanc­ing and dis­rupt­ing (time lag with in- or out-of-phase stim­u­la­tion, respec­tive­ly) cor­ti­cal entrain­ment to the speech enve­lope in audi­to­ry cortex.
Categories
Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Clinical relevance Degraded Acoustics EEG / MEG Executive Functions Hearing Loss Media Neural Oscillations Papers Publications Speech

Max Planck Soci­ety reports on Wöst­mann et al.’s Neur­al alpha dynamics

Some days ago the Max Planck Soci­ety put out a news fea­ture on our most recent Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science paper (see our post):

Aufmerk­sam zuhören — Hirn-Wellen zeigen Mühen des Hörens im Alter an

Sum­ma­ry
Ältere Men­schen kla­gen oft über Hörschwierigkeit­en, beson­ders wenn mehrere Per­so­n­en durcheinan­der sprechen. Forsch­er am Max-Planck-Insti­tut für Kog­ni­tions- und Neu­rowis­senschaften in Leipzig haben her­aus­ge­fun­den, dass der Grund hier­für nicht nur im Ohr, son­dern eben­so in verän­derten Aufmerk­samkeit­sprozessen im Gehirn älter­er Men­schen zu find­en ist. Eine beson­dere Bedeu­tung kommt dabei den Alpha-Wellen zu, deren Anpas­sung an verän­derte Hör­si­t­u­a­tio­nen das Sprachver­ständ­nis in All­t­agssi­t­u­a­tio­nen verbessert.

It nice­ly wraps up Malte’s exper­i­ment on alpha dynam­ics in younger and old­er lis­ten­ers. Check the link above for the full arti­cle (Ger­man).

 

Ref­er­ences

  • Wöst­mann M1, Her­rmann B2, Wilsch A2, Obleser J3. Neur­al alpha dynam­ics in younger and old­er lis­ten­ers reflect acoustic chal­lenges and pre­dic­tive ben­e­fits. J Neu­rosci. 2015 Jan 28;35(4):1458–67. PMID: 25632123. [Open with Read]
Categories
Ageing Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Clinical relevance Degraded Acoustics EEG / MEG Executive Functions Hearing Loss Neural Oscillations Papers Publications Speech

New paper in press in the Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science: Wöst­mann, Her­rmann, Wilsch, & Obleser [UPDATED #2]

Con­grat­u­la­tions to AC PhD stu­dent Malte Wöst­mann for his new­ly accept­ed paper in the Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science!

Wöst­mann M, Her­rmann B, Wilsch A, & Obleser J.

Neur­al alpha dynam­ics in younger and old­er lis­ten­ers reflect acoustic chal­lenges and pre­dic­tive benefits

J Neu­rosci, in press.

Here is the abstract and my favourite fig­ure from Malte’s paper.

Abstract
Speech com­pre­hen­sion in mul­ti-talk­er sit­u­a­tions is a noto­ri­ous real-life chal­lenge, par­tic­u­lar­ly for old­er lis­ten­ers. Younger lis­ten­ers exploit stim­u­lus-inher­ent acoustic detail, but are they also active­ly pre­dict­ing upcom­ing infor­ma­tion? And fur­ther, how do old­er lis­ten­ers deal with acoustic and pre­dic­tive infor­ma­tion? To under­stand the neur­al dynam­ics of lis­ten­ing dif­fi­cul­ties and accord­ing lis­ten­ing strate­gies, we con­trast­ed neur­al respons­es in the alpha-band (~10 Hz) in younger (20−30 years, n = 18) and healthy old­er (60−70 years, n = 20) par­tic­i­pants under chang­ing task demands in a two-talk­er par­a­digm. Elec­troen­cephalo­grams were record­ed while humans lis­tened to two spo­ken dig­its against a dis­tract­ing talk­er and decid­ed whether the sec­ond dig­it was small­er or larg­er. Acoustic detail (tem­po­ral fine struc­ture) and pre­dic­tive­ness (the degree to which the first dig­it pre­dict­ed the sec­ond) var­ied orthog­o­nal­ly. Alpha pow­er at wide­spread scalp sites decreased with increas­ing acoustic detail (dur­ing tar­get dig­it pre­sen­ta­tion) but also with increas­ing pre­dic­tive­ness (in-between tar­get dig­its). For old­er com­pared to younger lis­ten­ers, acoustic detail had a stronger impact on task per­for­mance and alpha pow­er mod­u­la­tion. This sug­gests that alpha dynam­ics plays an impor­tant role in the changes in lis­ten­ing behav­ior that occur with age. Last­ly, alpha pow­er vari­a­tions result­ing from stim­u­lus manip­u­la­tions (of acoustic detail and pre­dic­tive­ness) as well as task-inde­pen­dent over­all alpha pow­er were relat­ed to sub­jec­tive lis­ten­ing effort. The present data show that alpha dynam­ics is a promis­ing neur­al mark­er of indi­vid­ual dif­fi­cul­ties as well as age-relat­ed changes in sen­sa­tion, per­cep­tion, and com­pre­hen­sion in com­plex com­mu­ni­ca­tion situations. 

Screen Shot 2014-12-03 at 13.07.13

Update #2

Ger­man radio broad­cast­er MDR Info did an inter­view & fea­ture on Mal­te’s Exper­i­ment. Check out the stream below:

Ref­er­ences

  • Wöst­mann M1, Her­rmann B2, Wilsch A2, Obleser J3. Neur­al alpha dynam­ics in younger and old­er lis­ten­ers reflect acoustic chal­lenges and pre­dic­tive ben­e­fits. J Neu­rosci. 2015 Jan 28;35(4):1458–67. PMID: 25632123. [Open with Read]
Categories
Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception Auditory Speech Processing Clinical relevance Degraded Acoustics Gyrus Angularis Linguistics Noise-Vocoded Speech Papers Perception Psychology Speech

New paper in press: Hartwigsen, Golombek, & Obleser in Cor­tex [UPDATED]

In a col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Uni­ver­si­ty Clin­ic of Leipzig and Prof Dr Gesa Hartwigsen (now Uni­ver­si­ty of Kiel), a new paper is to appear in “Cor­tex”, in the forth­com­ing spe­cial issue on Pre­dic­tion in Speech and Lan­guage, edit­ed by Alessan­dro Tavano and AC alum­nus Math­ias Scharinger.

Repet­i­tive tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion over left angu­lar gyrus mod­u­lates the pre­dictabil­i­ty gain in degrad­ed speech comprehension

Hartwigsen G, Golombek T, & Obleser J.

See abstract
Increased neur­al activ­i­ty in left angu­lar gyrus (AG) accom­pa­nies suc­cess­ful com­pre­hen­sion of acousti­cal­ly degrad­ed but high­ly pre­dictable sen­tences, as pre­vi­ous func­tion­al imag­ing stud­ies have shown. How­ev­er, it remains unclear whether the left AG is causal­ly rel­e­vant for the com­pre­hen­sion of degrad­ed speech. Here, we applied tran­sient vir­tu­al lesions to either the left AG or supe­ri­or pari­etal lobe (SPL, as a con­trol area) with repet­i­tive tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion (rTMS) while healthy vol­un­teers lis­tened to and repeat­ed sen­tences with high- vs. low-pre­dictable end­ings and dif­fer­ent noise vocod­ing lev­els. We expect­ed that rTMS of AG should selec­tive­ly mod­u­late the pre­dictabil­i­ty gain (i.e., the com­pre­hen­sion ben­e­fit from sen­tences with high-pre­dictable end­ings) at a medi­um degra­da­tion lev­el. We found that rTMS of AG indeed reduced the pre­dictabil­i­ty gain at a medi­um degra­da­tion lev­el of 4‑band noise vocod­ing (rel­a­tive to con­trol rTMS of SPL). In con­trast, the behav­ioral per­tur­ba­tion induced by rTMS reversed with increased sig­nal qual­i­ty. Hence, at 8‑band noise vocod­ing, rTMS over AG vs. SPL increased the over­all pre­dictabil­i­ty gain. Togeth­er, these results show that the degree of the rTMS inter­fer­ence depend­ed joint­ly on sig­nal qual­i­ty and pre­dictabil­i­ty. Our results pro­vide the first causal evi­dence that the left AG is a crit­i­cal node for facil­i­tat­ing speech com­pre­hen­sion in chal­leng­ing lis­ten­ing conditions.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 21.19.17

Check it out soon!

Ref­er­ences

  • Hartwigsen G1, Golombek T2, Obleser J3. Repet­i­tive tran­scra­nial mag­net­ic stim­u­la­tion over left angu­lar gyrus mod­u­lates the pre­dictabil­i­ty gain in degrad­ed speech com­pre­hen­sion. Cor­tex. 2014 Sep 18. PMID: 25444577. [Open with Read]