PhD defence by Florine Lena Bachmann

On Friday 18 February, Florine Lena Bachmann will defend her PhD thesis: "Subcortical electrophysiological measures of running speech"

Time: Friday 18 February, at 13:00

Place: Building 303, aud. 49

Principal supervisor: Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær
Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Ewen N. MacDonald
Co-supervisor: Professor Nathalie Giroud

Associate Professor Bastian Epp, DTU Health Tech
Associate Professor Samira Brake Anderson, University of Maryland
Professor Tobias Reichenbach, Friedrich-Alexander-University

Chairperson at defence:
Associate Professor Tobias May

Measuring the neural sound processing between the ear and the brain is crucial for advancing hearing research and diagnosing hearing loss. A standard method in clinical audiology is to present many short click sounds and record the evoked neural activity in the auditory brainstem with electrodes placed on the scalp. However, if reliable neural responses could instead be recorded with uninterrupted natural speech, this would have several advantages. In this thesis, ways to measure neural activity in the auditory brainstem while adults listened to speech from audiobooks were investigated. A response from the auditory brainstem similar to the one known from clinical click-evoked responses could be obtained using regression analysis techniques. To examine the reliability of the response to speech, the same older hearing-impaired adults were measured repeatedly on six different days while listening to similar speech stimuli. Measurements were reliable when using the same speech material. It was further investigated how age-related hearing loss affects these responses by comparison to a group of young normal-hearing listeners. The results suggested that while the auditory brainstem response to speech is reduced with hearing loss, the brain can compensate and recover responses at later processing stages. Because speech is much more complex than clicks, this new method allows us to investigate the influence of complex language characteristics on peripheral speech processing. Furthermore, we can use the novel method to evaluate how a hearing aid, or a particular way to process sound in the hearing aid, influences neural speech processing.


Fri 18 Feb 22
13:00 - 16:00


DTU Sundhedsteknologi


Building 303, aud. 49