Simultaneous neural measures of subcortical and cortical speech processing

Florine Bachman

Project description:
This project aims to identify neural measures of pitch processing and how these are affected by hearing loss. It focuses on methods to record neural pitch tracking during continuous speech listening with non-invasive EEG as a tool to assess pitch processing in hearing-impaired tonal language speakers.  

Firstly, the project develops methods to analyse cortical and subcortical responses to pitch during continuous speech listening in normal-hearing listeners. Secondly, the validity and reliability of the neural pitch measures are evaluated both within and across individuals with hearing loss, as well as the effects of compensation for hearing loss. Thirdly, the method is applied to investigate the effect of hearing loss on cortical and subcortical pitch processing.

The proposed techniques enables the non-invasive assessment of neural responses to complex non-repetitive stimuli such as natural speech simultaneously in the subcortical and cortical auditory system. Assessing pitch processing objectively at different levels of auditory processing have a range of potential applications in clinical hearing diagnosis and hearing loss research. Normal speech signals could replace repetitive click sounds during the hearing assessment of unresponsive patients. Using continuous speech as stimuli provides the basis for answering research questions regarding the processing of complex speech. Especially for research in tonal languages, the differentiation between neural responses to the fundamental frequency track and the speech envelope is promising.

To be completed in 2021
Supervisors: Jens Hjortkjær,DTU Health Tech,  Ewen MacDonald, Natalie Giroud, University of Zürich
This project is carried out in collaboration with Sonova.

DTU Orbit


Florine Lena Bachmann
PhD student
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 66