The Erasmus Mundus ACN program

Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience (ACN) is the scientific study of how higher functions of the hearing system - how we think about and respond to sound and the neural substrates of the mental processes involved. It encompasses the fields of speech and music research, hearing disorders, development of hearing, neurophysiology and organization of the auditory cortex, computer modelling of hearing processes, and many others. It has applications in health care, audio engineering and communications technology, and the music and computer game industries. Much of the current cutting-edge research in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience is highly multidisciplinary and relies strongly on international cooperation.

Some of the foremost labs in the field of auditory science join forces to provide a unique international training program to students in the fields of basic science, biomedicine and biomedical engineering related to audition. The participating students have the opportunity to closely interact with experts studying the auditory system with different scopes, ranging from

1) Ontogeny of audition (Rübsamen)
2) Development of language (Onishi)
3) Human neuroimaging (Schoenwiesner, Zatorre, Belin, von Kriegstein)
4) Electrophysiology of the human auditory system (Poeppel, Jolicoeur, Schröger, Tervaniem, Tillmann)
5) Electrophysiology of the auditory system in laboratory animals (Rübsamen), voice perception (Belin, von Kriegstein)
6) Computational modeling of audition (Pressnitzer)
7) Psychophysics (Oxenham, McAdams, Rübsamen, Pressnitzer, Tillmann)
8) Spatial sound perception (Schoenwiesner)
9) Biomedical audio-engineering (Bruce)
10) Multisensory integration (Palmer, Schröger)
11) Music cognition (Peretz, Zatorre, Keller, Tillmann)
12) Auditory memory (Jolicoeur)
13) Emotion (Armony, McAdams, Tervaniemi)
14) Neural basis of art (Brown) and
15) Study of special populations (Peretz, Tervaniemi)

This list contains most of the current research directions in auditory neuroscience, giving students an excellent and unique range of topics and work areas to choose from.
In addition, the participating labs complement each to offer the full range of modern neuroscience methods, from electrophysiology (electro-encephalography, in-vivo and in-vitro electrophysiology), optical imaging, magneto-encephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation, patient studies, and structural neuroanatomy.

Gerard Encina Llamas, former PhD student and now postdoc, was awarded a fellowship to visit the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory in Boston, group of Barbara Shinn-Cunningham, from March 1st 2016 where he studied cognitive neuroscince as a part of his PhD project.

Federica Bianchi, PhD former student, now postdoc, at Hearing Systems, was awarded a fellowship to visit the Montréal Neurological Institute, group of Professor Zatorre, where she was working for six months in 2014. This exchange was funded by the Erasmus Mundus program. During her external stay, Federica designed a new paradigm to investigate objective correlates of pitch salience via functional magnetic resonance imaging.

As part of the Erasmus Mundus fellowship program Golbarg Mehraei, PhD student from MIT and Harward, joined the Hearing Systems’ research group for six months. Read more here


Twenty five partners for Europe, Canada and USA join forces to make the network a success. The project funds the mobility of doctoral and post-doctoral students as well as scientific staff members.
The program is funded by the European Union through the Erasmus Mundus with about 1 Million Euro over 4 years (2010 - 2014). Its aim is to support a total of 426 months of transatlantic exchange of doctoral and postdoctoral students and staff members. Students will typically spend 6 months in a partner institute across the Atlantic as part of a joint research project. Staff exchange is meant to enable the organization of lectures series and workshops across member institutions, as well as joint research and training of technical support staff.

The name of the Programme comes from Desiderius Erasmus Rotterdamus, a 15th-century Dutch humanist and theologian who studied in the best monastic schools throughout Europe. In his days, he was known as one of the most brilliant students of the time. “Mundus” is the Latin word for “world” and thus stands for the programme’s global outreach.

Read more about the Erasmus Mundus Student Exchange Network ACN here  

The Hearing Systems Group was represented by several members at the kick-off meeting of the Erasmus Mundus Student Exchange Network in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience coordinated by the University of Leipzig.Read more here