The Listening Brain: Acoustic Challenges and Adaptive Mechanisms
Humans in principle adapt well to sensory degradation. In order to do so, our cognitive strategies need to adjust accordingly. The auditory sensory modality poses an excellent, although under-utilised, research model to understand these adjustments, their neural bases, and their large variation amongst individuals. In my talk I will present recent findings from our laboratory, utilising power and phase of neural oscillations as measured in magneto- and electroencephalography as well as hemodynamic signal change. I will present initial evidence for a useful distinction of broadly “automatic” or effortless neural mechanisms that allow for improved performance in challenging listening situations (e.g., neural entrainment) from broadly “controlled” or effortful neural mechanisms that support listening performance (e.g., alpha power enhancement; involvement of the cingulo–opercular network) and will link our results to ageing and hearing loss.