Categories
Attention fMRI Memory Papers

New paper in Neu­roIm­age, Lim et al.

Atten­tion lets us focus our lim­it­ed cog­ni­tive resources on behav­ioral­ly impor­tant infor­ma­tion. Less obvi­ous is that atten­tion also helps us to hold infor­ma­tion in mem­o­ry with high pre­ci­sion. But how does the brain imple­ment this direct­ed atten­tion to mem­o­ry, and what behav­iour­al ben­e­fits does it yield for us humans?

For­mer post­doc Sung-Joo Lim (now at Bing­ham­ton Uni­ver­si­ty), Jonas Obleser, and a team of col­lab­o­ra­tors from Old­en­burg (Chris­tiane Thiel) and Leipzig (Bern­hard Sehm, Lorenz Deser­no, and Jöran Lep­sien) have now a new arti­cle on this old prob­lem, to appear in NeuroImage.

Using the changes in brain blood oxy­gena­tion as mea­sured with fMRI, this study demon­strates that atten­tion enables mem­o­ry main­te­nance of speech sound infor­ma­tion across mul­ti­ple brain regions. A speech-sen­si­tive brain region in the tem­po­ral lobe (the left supe­ri­or tem­po­ral sul­cus) con­tributes the most in pre­dict­ing the indi­vid­ual gain in recall pre­ci­sion of audi­to­ry objects from mem­o­ry. This study high­lights that func­tion­al­ly dis­crete brain regions work togeth­er in main­tain­ing and atten­tion­al­ly enhanc­ing work­ing mem­o­ry infor­ma­tion, but they exert dif­ferental influ­ences depend­ing on their func­tion­al specializations.

The full arti­cle is now avail­able here.

Categories
Adaptive Control Attention EEG / MEG Neural dynamics Papers Uncategorized

New paper in eLife, Waschke et al.

For­mer Oble­ser­lab PhD stu­dent Leo Waschke is now out in eLife with an inge­nious demon­stra­tion how both endoge­nous and exoge­nous­ly-dri­ven changes in the steep­ness of the brain-elec­tric 1/f pow­er spec­trum (in part linked direct­ly to local excitation:inhibiton, E:I, ratio) in neur­al pop­u­la­tions can affect behav­iour in com­plex, mul­ti-sen­so­ry envi­ron­ments: “Modal­i­ty-spe­cif­ic track­ing of atten­tion and sen­so­ry sta­tis­tics in the human elec­tro­phys­i­o­log­i­cal spec­tral expo­nent”

The results draw heav­i­ly on the recent spec­tral-slope expo­nent work by our col­lab­o­ra­tors at Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia San Diego in the lab of Bradley Voytek, and have come togeth­er in a three-lab col­labo of Lübeck, San Diego, and Leo’s cur­rent sci­en­tif­ic home, the Dou­glas Gar­rett lab at the MPIB.

 
Con­grat­u­la­tions, Leo!

Categories
Auditory Neuroscience Brain stimulation EEG / MEG Executive Functions fMRI Grants Job Offers Semantics Speech

We are hir­ing: new PhD train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty start­ing spring 2022

Categories
Adaptive Control Editorial Notes Neural Oscillations Papers

New Paper accept­ed in Plos Biol­o­gy, Alavash et al.

 

Our lab is proud and hap­py that anoth­er major step­ping stone from our ERC con­sol­ida­tor project (“AUDADAPT”) is now accept­ed for pub­li­ca­tion in PLoS Biol­o­gy! Con­grat­u­la­tions to our first author Dr Mohsen Alavash, now a senior researcher in the Obleser lab in his own right.

 

 

Categories
Attention Auditory Neuroscience EEG / MEG Papers Publications Speech Tracking Unilateral Vocoding

New Paper in Trends in Hear­ing by Kraus et al.

Frauke Kraus, Sarah Tune, Anna Ruhe, Jonas Obleser & Malte Wöst­mann demon­strate that uni­lat­er­al acoustic degra­da­tion delays atten­tion­al sep­a­ra­tion of com­pet­ing speech.

Uni­lat­er­al cochlear implant (CI) users have to inte­grate acousti­cal­ly intact speech on one ear and acousti­cal­ly degrad­ed speech on the oth­er ear. How inter­act uni­lat­er­al acoustic degra­da­tion and spa­tial atten­tion in a mul­titalk­er situation?
N = 22 par­tic­i­pants took part in a com­pet­ing lis­ten­ing exper­i­ment while lis­ten­ing to an intact audio­book under dis­trac­tion of an acousti­cal­ly degrad­ed audio­book and vice ver­sa. Speech track­ing revealed not per se reduced atten­tion­al sep­a­ra­tion of acousti­cal­ly degrad­ed speech but instead a delay in time com­pared to intact speech. These find­ings might explain lis­ten­ing chal­lenges expe­ri­enced by uni­lat­er­al CI users.

To learn more, the paper is avail­able here.

Categories
Executive Functions Grants Gyrus Angularis Linguistics

New grant award­ed by the Deutsche Forschungs­ge­mein­schaft (DFG)

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
Attention Auditory Neuroscience Neural Oscillations Papers Psychology Uncategorized

New paper in press in the Jour­nal of Neuroscience

Wöst­mann, Alavash and Obleser demon­strate that alpha oscil­la­tions in the human brain imple­ment dis­trac­tor sup­pres­sion inde­pen­dent of tar­get selection.

In the­o­ry, the abil­i­ty to selec­tive­ly focus on rel­e­vant objects in our envi­ron­ment bases on selec­tion of tar­gets and sup­pres­sion of dis­trac­tion. As it is unclear whether tar­get selec­tion and dis­trac­tor sup­pres­sion are inde­pen­dent, we designed an Elec­troen­cephalog­ra­phy (EEG) study to direct­ly con­trast these two processes.

Par­tic­i­pants per­formed a pitch dis­crim­i­na­tion task on a tone sequence pre­sent­ed at one loud­speak­er loca­tion while a dis­tract­ing tone sequence was pre­sent­ed at anoth­er loca­tion. When the dis­trac­tor was fixed in the front, atten­tion to upcom­ing tar­gets on the left ver­sus right side induced hemi­spher­ic lat­er­al­i­sa­tion of alpha pow­er with rel­a­tive­ly high­er pow­er ipsi- ver­sus con­tralat­er­al to the side of attention.

Crit­i­cal­ly, when the tar­get was fixed in front, sup­pres­sion of upcom­ing dis­trac­tors reversed the pat­tern of alpha lat­er­al­i­sa­tion, that is, alpha pow­er increased con­tralat­er­al to the dis­trac­tor and decreased ipsi­lat­er­al­ly. Since the two lat­er­al­ized alpha respons­es were uncor­re­lat­ed across par­tic­i­pants, they can be con­sid­ered large­ly inde­pen­dent cog­ni­tive mechanisms.

This was fur­ther sup­port­ed by the fact that alpha lat­er­al­i­sa­tion in response to dis­trac­tor sup­pres­sion orig­i­nat­ed in more ante­ri­or, frontal cor­ti­cal regions com­pared with tar­get selec­tion (see figure).

The paper is also avail­able as preprint here.