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
Acoustics Neural Filters Neural Phase Papers Perception Publications Uncategorized

New paper in Devel­op­men­tal Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science, Jessen et al.

Our lab (senior author Sarah Tune) teamed up once again with the Baby­lab Lübeck, led by Sarah Jessen: Sarah and Sarah co-wrote a great tuto­r­i­al on how the ver­sa­tile analy­sis frame­work of tem­po­ral response func­tions can be used to analyse brain data obtained in infants. The arti­cle has now been accept­ed for pub­li­ca­tion in the well-reput­ed jour­nal Devel­op­men­tal Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science:

 

Categories
Auditory Neuroscience Auditory Speech Processing fMRI Linguistics Papers Perception Psychology Semantics Speech Uncategorized

New paper in Sci­ence Advances by Schmitt et al.

Very excit­ed to announce that for­mer Obleser lab PhD stu­dent Lea-Maria Schmitt with her co-authors *) is now out in the Jour­nal Sci­ence Advances with her new work, fus­ing artif­i­cal neur­al net­works and func­tion­al MRI data, on timescales of pre­dic­tion in nat­ur­al lan­guage comprehension:

Pre­dict­ing speech from a cor­ti­cal hier­ar­chy of event-based time scales”

*) Lea-Maria Schmitt, Julia Erb, Sarah Tune, and Jonas Obleser from the Obleser lab / Lübeck side, and our col­lab­o­ra­tors Anna Rysop and Gesa Hartwigsen from Gesa’s Lise Meit­ner group at the Max Planck Insti­tute in Leipzig. This research was made pos­si­ble by the ERC and the DFG.

 

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
Uncategorized

New paper in Schiz­o­phre­nia Bul­letin Open: Erb et al., Aber­rant per­cep­tu­al judge­ments on speech-rel­e­vant acoustic fea­tures in hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone individuals

Hal­lu­ci­na­tions – per­cepts in the absence of an exter­nal stim­u­lus – con­sti­tute an intrigu­ing mod­el of how per­cepts are gen­er­at­ed and how per­cep­tion can fail. They can occur in psy­chot­ic dis­or­ders, but also in the gen­er­al population.
Healthy adults vary­ing in their pre­dis­po­si­tion to hal­lu­ci­na­tions were asked to iden­ti­fy “speech” in ambigu­ous sounds. Lis­ten­ers qual­i­fy­ing as more hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone in two estab­lished ques­tion­naires per­cep­tu­al­ly down-weight­ed the speech-typ­i­cal low fre­quen­cies (pur­ple sub­group in the fig­ure for illus­tra­tion). Instead, the hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone indi­vid­u­als pri­ori­tised high fre­quen­cies in their “speech­i­ness” judge­ments of ambigu­ous sounds.
At the same time, the high­er one scored on hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone­ness, the more con­fi­dent on a giv­en (always ambigu­ous!) tri­al they were. Hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone­ness and actu­al sen­so­ry evi­dence had a com­pa­ra­ble impact on con­fi­dence, con­sis­tent with the idea that the emer­gence of hal­lu­ci­na­tions is root­ed in an altered per­cep­tion of sounds.
This research may con­tribute to improv­ing ear­ly diag­no­sis and pre­ven­tion strate­gies in
indi­vid­u­als at risk for psychosis.

From the abstract:
“Hal­lu­ci­na­tions con­sti­tute an intrigu­ing mod­el of how per­cepts are gen­er­at­ed and how per­cep­tion can fail. Here, we inves­ti­gate the hypoth­e­sis that an altered per­cep­tu­al weight­ing of the spec­tro-tem­po­ral mod­u­la­tions that char­ac­ter­ize speech con­tributes to the emer­gence of audi­to­ry ver­bal hal­lu­ci­na­tions. Healthy adults (N=168) vary­ing in their pre­dis­po­si­tion for hal­lu­ci­na­tions had to choose the ‘more speech-like’ of two pre­sent­ed ambigu­ous sound tex­tures and give a con­fi­dence judge­ment. Using psy­chophys­i­cal reverse cor­re­la­tion, we quan­ti­fied the con­tri­bu­tion of dif­fer­ent acoustic fea­tures to a listener’s per­cep­tu­al deci­sions. High­er hal­lu­ci­na­tion prone­ness covar­ied with per­cep­tu­al down-weight­ing of speech-typ­i­cal, low-fre­quen­cy acoustic ener­gy while pri­ori­tis­ing high fre­quen­cies. Remark­ably, high­er con­fi­dence judge­ments in sin­gle tri­als depend­ed not only on acoustic evi­dence but also on an individual’s hal­lu­ci­na­tion prone­ness and schizo­typy score. In line with an account of altered per­cep­tu­al pri­ors and dif­fer­en­tial weight­ing of sen­so­ry evi­dence, these results show that hal­lu­ci­na­tion-prone indi­vid­u­als exhib­it qual­i­ta­tive and quan­ti­ta­tive changes in their per­cep­tion of the mod­u­la­tions typ­i­cal for speech.”
The paper is avail­able here.

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
Uncategorized

New paper in press in Neuropsychologia

Wöst­mann, Lui, Friese, Kre­it­e­wolf, Nau­jokat and Obleser demon­strate that the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of work­ing mem­o­ry to audi­to­ry dis­trac­tion is rhythmic.

Pre­vi­ous research has shown that the atten­tion­al sam­pling of tar­get stim­uli is rhyth­mic at ~3–8 Hz (e.g. Fiebelko­rn et al. 2013; Lan­dau & Fries, 2012). In the present study, Malte Wöst­mann and col­leagues test­ed to what extent the sup­pres­sion of dis­trac­tor stim­uli would be rhyth­mic, as well. Indeed, two mea­sures of dis­trac­tion – mem­o­ry recall accu­ra­cy and the dis­trac­tor-evoked N1 ERP com­po­nent – were peri­od­i­cal­ly mod­u­lat­ed at slow fre­quen­cies (~2–4 Hz) by the tem­po­ral onset of a dis­tract­ing speech stimulus.

In a fol­low-up exper­i­ment, the rhyth­mic dis­tractibil­i­ty could be repli­cat­ed: In a visu­al match-to-sam­ple task, mem­o­ry recall accu­ra­cy was peri­od­i­cal­ly mod­u­lat­ed at ~2.75 Hz by the onset of a dis­tract­ing noise stim­u­lus dur­ing mem­o­ry retention.

The paper is avail­able here.

For a preprint of the paper, see 

Categories
Editorial Notes Job Offers Uncategorized

We are hir­ing! 4‑y post­doc­tor­al position

There is now an open­ing for an up-to-4-year (!) post­doc posi­tion in my lab for late summer/fall. Join us in Lübeck, Ger­many, and do cool behav­iour­al and neu­ro­science on neur­al dynam­ics, age­ing, sen­so­ry decline with us!

The appli­ca­tion dead­line (as sin­gle PDF to the email address named in the add!) is June 7 2020, see Ger­man and Eng­lish PDFs for all details.

Feel free to ring me up any time if you are inter­est­ed in chat­ting before­hand. Look­ing for­ward to many inter­est­ing applications!

— J.O.