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
Acoustics Familiarity Papers Perception Publications Voice

New Paper in Cog­ni­tion by Lavan, Kre­it­e­wolf et al.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to for­mer Obleser post­doc Jens Kre­it­e­wolf (now at McGill Uni­ver­si­ty) for his new paper in Cog­ni­tion, “Famil­iar­i­ty and task con­text shape the use of acoustic infor­ma­tion in voice iden­ti­ty perception”! 

Togeth­er with our col­leagues from Lon­don, Nadine Lavan and Car­olyn McGet­ti­gan, we took a new approach to test the long­stand­ing the­o­ret­i­cal claim that lis­ten­ers dif­fer in their use of acoustic infor­ma­tion when per­ceiv­ing iden­ti­ty from famil­iar and unfa­mil­iar voic­es. Unlike pre­vi­ous stud­ies that have relat­ed sin­gle acoustic fea­tures to voice iden­ti­ty per­cep­tion, we linked lis­ten­ers’ voice-iden­ti­ty judg­ments to more com­plex acoustic representations—that is, the spec­tral sim­i­lar­i­ty of voice  record­ings (see Fig­ure below).

This new study has a direct link to pop cul­ture (by cap­ti­laz­ing on nat­u­ral­ly-vary­ing voice record­ings tak­en from the famous TV show Break­ing Bad) and chal­lenges tra­di­tion­al pro­pos­als that view famil­iar and unfa­mil­iar voice per­cep­tion as being dis­tinct at all times.

Click here to find out more.

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
Editorial Notes Neural Oscillations Neural Phase Papers Uncategorized

A qui­et inno­va­tor: Peter Lakatos (1972–2021)

Our dear col­league and col­lab­o­ra­tor Peter Lakatos passed away sud­den­ly two months ago. With Peter’s so untime­ly death at the age of 49, Neu­ro­science has suf­fered an unimag­in­able loss.
It has been an hon­our and priv­i­lege to con­tribute Peter Lakatos’ obit­u­ary to Nature Neu­ro­science.

— Jonas Obleser

The pic­ture shows Peter just after or dur­ing his talk at our SNAP 2013 work­shop at the Max Planck Insti­tute in Leipzig. Inci­dent­ly, this is also the talk I ref­er­enced in my recent obit­u­ary, linked above.

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
Auditory Neuroscience Auf deutsch Media Perception Publications Speech

Jonas as a guest on the Lan­guage Neu­ro­science Podcast

Thanks to col­league Stephen Wil­son from Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­si­ty for invit­ing me to this conversation!

The episode with Jonas is also avail­able on Spo­ti­fy.

— Ein deutsches automa­tisch erstelltes Tran­skript ist hier erhältlich (alle Über­set­zun­gen ohne Gewähr).

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 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.