Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception EEG / MEG Evoked Activity Papers Perception Publications

New paper in press: Her­rmann, Schlicht­ing, & Obleser, Jour­nal of Neuroscience

Björn Her­rmann has yet anoth­er paper in press in the Jour­nal of Neuroscience!

Dynam­ic Range Adap­ta­tion to Spec­tral Stim­u­lus Sta­tis­tics in Human Audi­to­ry Cortex

The paper is now avail­able online free of charge, and—funnily enough—appeared right on Jan­u­ary 1, 2014.

Screen Shot 2014-01-02 at 14.38.58


  • Her­rmann B, Schlicht­ing N, Obleser J. Dynam­ic range adap­ta­tion to spec­tral stim­u­lus sta­tis­tics in human audi­to­ry cor­tex. J Neu­rosci. 2014 Jan 1;34(1):327–31. PMID: 24381293. [Open with Read]
Auditory Perception EEG / MEG Media Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Perception Publications

3sat fea­tures neur­al oscil­la­tions on TV

Ger­man pub­lic tele­vi­sion broad­cast­er 3sat fea­tured our research on neur­al oscil­la­tions (see our PNAS Paper) in its series nano .

Unfor­tu­nate­ly it’s only in Ger­man. How­ev­er, have fun watch­ing it:

[Update] If the embed­ded video is not work­ing for you, watch it on the 3sat web­site (Flash).


  • Hen­ry MJ, Obleser J. Fre­quen­cy mod­u­la­tion entrains slow neur­al oscil­la­tions and opti­mizes human lis­ten­ing behav­ior. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Dec 4;109(49):20095–100. PMID: 23151506. [Open with Read]
Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception EEG / MEG Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Papers Perception Publications

New paper in press: Her­rmann, Hen­ry, Grigutsch & Obleser, The Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science [Update]

Oscil­la­to­ry Phase Dynam­ics in Neur­al Entrain­ment Under­pin Illu­so­ry Per­cepts of Time

Nat­ur­al sounds like speech and music inher­ent­ly vary in tem­po over time. Yet, con­tex­tu­al fac­tors such as vari­a­tions in the sound’s loud­ness or pitch influ­ence per­cep­tion of tem­po­ral rate change towards slow­ing down or speed­ing up.

A new MEG study by Björn Her­rmann, Mol­ly Hen­ry, Maren Grigutsch and Jonas Obleser asked for the neur­al oscil­la­to­ry dynam­ics that under­pin con­text-induced illu­sions in tem­po­ral rate change and found illu­so­ry per­cepts to be linked to changes in the neur­al phase pat­terns of entrained oscil­la­tions while the exact fre­quen­cy of the oscil­la­to­ry response was relat­ed to veridi­cal percepts.

The paper is in press and forth­com­ing in The Jour­nal of Neuroscience.



Paper is avail­able online.


  • Her­rmann B, Hen­ry MJ, Grigutsch M, Obleser J. Oscil­la­to­ry phase dynam­ics in neur­al entrain­ment under­pin illu­so­ry per­cepts of time. J Neu­rosci. 2013 Oct 2;33(40):15799–809. PMID: 24089487. [Open with Read]
Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception Auditory Working Memory Executive Functions fMRI Papers Perception Publications

New paper has been pub­lished in Cere­bral Cor­tex by Hen­ry, Her­rmann, & Obleser

When we lis­ten to sounds like speech and music, we have to make sense of dif­fer­ent acoustic fea­tures that vary simul­ta­ne­ous­ly along mul­ti­ple time scales. This means that we, as lis­ten­ers, have to selec­tive­ly attend to, but at the same time selec­tive­ly ignore, sep­a­rate but inter­twined fea­tures of a stimulus.

Brain regions associated with selective attending to and selective ignoring of temporal stimulus features.
Brain regions asso­ci­at­ed with selec­tive attend­ing to and selec­tive ignor­ing of tem­po­ral stim­u­lus fea­tures. (more)

A new­ly pub­lished fMRI study by Mol­ly Hen­ry, Björn Her­rmann, and Jonas Obleser found a net­work of brain regions that respond­ed oppo­site­ly to iden­ti­cal stim­u­lus char­ac­ter­is­tics depend­ing on whether they were rel­e­vant or irrel­e­vant, even when both stim­u­lus fea­tures involved atten­tion to time and tem­po­ral features.

You can check out the arti­cle here:


  • Hen­ry MJ, Her­rmann B, Obleser J. Selec­tive Atten­tion to Tem­po­ral Fea­tures on Nest­ed Time Scales. Cereb Cor­tex. 2013 Aug 26. PMID: 23978652. [Open with Read]
Auditory Cortex Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception Auditory Speech Processing Degraded Acoustics Executive Functions fMRI Noise-Vocoded Speech Papers Perception Publications Speech

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 


  • 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]
Papers Perception Publications

New Paper in press — Scharinger, Hen­ry, Obleser, in Mem­o­ry & Cognition

For nor­mal-hear­ing humans, cat­e­go­riz­ing com­plex acoustic stim­uli is a seem­ing­ly effort­less process, even if one has nev­er heard the par­tic­u­lar sounds before. Nev­er­the­less, pri­or expe­ri­ence with spe­cif­ic cor­re­la­tions between acoustic stim­u­lus prop­er­ties affects the cat­e­go­riza­tion in a ben­e­fi­cial way, as we show in our paper:

Pri­or expe­ri­ence with neg­a­tive spec­tral cor­re­la­tions pro­motes infor­ma­tion inte­gra­tion dur­ing audi­to­ry cat­e­go­ry learning

(by Math­ias Scharinger, Mol­ly Hen­ry, and Jonas Obleser).

The arti­cle is in press at Mem­o­ry & Cog­ni­tion (avail­able online). Our main find­ing is that stim­uli dif­fer­ing in the loca­tion of two spec­tral peaks were bet­ter cat­e­go­rized if there was a neg­a­tive cor­re­la­tion between the two spec­tral peaks than if there was a pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion. Since neg­a­tive spec­tral cor­re­la­tions char­ac­ter­ize pho­net­ic speech prop­er­ties, our find­ings sug­gest that short-term audi­to­ry cat­e­go­ry learn­ing is influ­enced by long-term rep­re­sen­ta­tions of abstract acoustic-pho­net­ic prop­er­ties (here: spec­tral correlations).


  • Scharinger M, Hen­ry MJ, Obleser J. Pri­or expe­ri­ence with neg­a­tive spec­tral cor­re­la­tions pro­motes infor­ma­tion inte­gra­tion dur­ing audi­to­ry cat­e­go­ry learn­ing. Mem Cog­nit. 2013 Jul;41(5):752–68. PMID: 23354998. [Open with Read]
Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Perception Editorial Notes EEG / MEG Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Papers Perception Publications

New paper out: Hen­ry & Her­rmann, Jour­nal of Neuroscience

Proud to announce that our post­docs Mol­ly Hen­ry and Björn Her­rmann just came out with a review/op piece in the Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science “jour­nal club” sec­tion, where only grad stu­dents or post­docs are allowed to author short review pieces.

A Pre­clud­ing Role of Low-Fre­quen­cy Oscil­la­tions for Audi­to­ry Per­cep­tion in a Con­tin­u­ous Pro­cess­ing Mode

The Jour­nal of Neu­ro­science, 5 Decem­ber 2012, 32(49): 17525–17527; doi: 10.1523/​JNEUROSCI.4456–12.2012

Mol­ly and Björn review (and com­ment on) an impor­tant paper by our friends and col­leagues Christoph Kayser and Benedikt Ng in the same jour­nal. Essen­tial­ly, they argue for the dis­tinc­tion of a con­tin­u­ous from an oscil­la­to­ry pro­cess­ing mode in lis­ten­ing, and pro­vide ten­ta­tive expla­na­tions of why some­times miss­es might be more mod­u­lat­ed by neur­al oscil­la­to­ry phase than hits. Con­grats, guys!


  • Hen­ry MJ, Her­rmann B. A pre­clud­ing role of low-fre­quen­cy oscil­la­tions for audi­to­ry per­cep­tion in a con­tin­u­ous pro­cess­ing mode. J Neu­rosci. 2012 Dec 5;32(49):17525–7. PMID: 23223276. [Open with Read]
Clinical relevance Papers Perception Publications Speech

New paper by Mol­ly Hen­ry: Amu­sia diag­no­sis should bet­ter rely on sig­nal detec­tion theory

Sig­nal detec­tion the­o­ry – what helps pre­vent­ing mis­di­ag­noses and false pos­i­tives in gen­er­al can’t be bad for diag­nos­ing Amu­sia either, one would think. Our very own Mol­ly Hen­ry and her for­mer super­vi­sor Devin McAuley now demon­strate in a just-accept­ed paper

Fail­ure to apply sig­nal detec­tion the­o­ry to the Mon­tre­al Bat­tery of Eval­u­a­tion of Amu­sia may mis­di­ag­nose amusia

in Music Per­cep­tion that this is indeed the case:

They show that analy­ses based on con­fi­dence rat­ings and ROC-curves out­per­forms sim­ple per­cent­age cor­rect in diag­nos­ing Amusia.

Here is the abstract, and watch out for the full paper to appear soon:

This arti­cle con­sid­ers a sig­nal detec­tion the­o­ry (SDT) approach to eval­u­a­tion of per­for­mance on the Mon­tre­al Bat­tery of Eval­u­a­tion of Amu­sia (MBEA).