Seminars

Members of the general public are welcome to attend our seminars. However space is limited so if you would like to attend, please ring Sandra Smith at least 24 hours prior to the seminar on 0115 823 2634 to reserve a place. If Sandra Smith is unavailable contact Jan Kelly on 0115 823 2617 or contact reception on 0115 823 2600.

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07 December 2015

High density near infrared spectroscopy - Using ATLAS based reconstructions

Presenter(s): Dr Michael Clancy
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

High density near infrared spectroscopy - Using ATLAS based reconstructions to improve quantitative accuracy of cerebral oxygenation values

Abstract

Within the context of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) has the potential to provide a means of monitoring cerebral oxygenation in real time. However as NIRS tends to focus on relative changes in oxygenation from a baseline measurement it is not ready for use in this clinical application as no healthy baseline reading can be obtained from a potentially compromised brain. The focus of this research is to demonstrate that hybridisation of existing near infrared probe designs and reconstruction techniques can produce a device that can be used to monitor oxygen saturation in the injured brain without the need for a normative baseline measurement. Using registered Atlas models in simulation, we outline a method by which the quantitative accuracy and practicality of near infrared spectroscopy, for specific use in monitoring the injured brain, may be improved.

Biography

Originally my undergraduate degree was in Astrophysics at the University of Birmingham. In 2012 I started working in the Doctoral Training Centre for Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences (PSIBS) where my PhD focuses on the application of near infrared spectroscopy to the monitoring of patients with traumatic brain injury.

Host: Rebecca Dewey (rebecca.dewey [at] nottingham.ac.uk)

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30 November 2015

TBC

Presenter(s): Dr Fred Dick
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

(Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London)

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23 November 2015

Developing a new clinical test to quantify listening effort in cochlear implant users

Presenter(s): Ms Helen Willis
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract

Listening effort is known to lead to debilitative long term health consequences for people who are hearing impaired. Even mild degrees of hearing impairment lead to increased levels of listening effort but this is little appreciated by physicians, parents and teachers. The effort needed to listen is similarly easy to dismiss for cochlear implant (CI) users: as soon as the CI is implanted, recipients may be thought to be free of listening problems because their audiograms become similar to those seen with minimal hearing loss. Whilst there is active research on listening effort, much remains to be understood and there are no clinically applicable measures of listening effort. Current emphasis in clinical assessment for cochlear implant patients is on speech comprehension, although the importance of listening effort is being increasingly recognised by researchers. Considering the health consequences associated with chronic increased listening effort, processing strategies that reduce this listening effort in the cochlear implant population could be just as beneficial as those that improve speech comprehension. This PhD project will attempt to create a clinical test capable of quantifying listening effort in cochlear implant users (with validation provided by use of the pupillometry technique, as well as extensive assays of hearing ability and cognitive, executive and intellectual function). Data from the pilot of the first attempt of creating such a test will be discussed.

Biography


Helen recently graduated from Oxford University (St. John’s College) with a First Class Honours in Physiology and Psychology and also a MSc in Neuroscience. She is now completing her first year of a doctorate at University College London, with Prof. Stuart Rosen and Dr. Deborah Vickers as supervisors and funding jointly provided by Action on Hearing Loss and Cochlear UK. Being an experienced cochlear implant user of 20 years (having been totally deafened by meningitis at the age of 19 months), Helen is hoping to use her personal experience and neuroscience training to help execute research that will contribute to the field of listening effort, and most importantly of all, help all cochlear implant users like herself gain optimal benefit from the cochlear implant technology.

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09 November 2015

fMRI studies of cortical reorganization in postlingual deafness: Modification of the left hemispheri

Presenter(s): Dr Diane Lazard
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract 

TBC

 

Biography
Diane Lazard is an ENT surgeon in Paris, France. She also has a research background with a PhD in Neurosciences (Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris) on the topic of cerebral plasticity induced by post-lingual deafness and by auditory rehabilitation with a cochlear implant (fMRI and PET studies). She showed that cochlear implant outcome depended upon the reading strategies developed during the period of moderate and profound deafness, and upon the amount of audio-visual fusion developed during childhood. She undertook a post-doc at The Bionics Institute, Melbourne, Australia, where she continued studying predictors of cochlear-implant performance. Data from 2251 patients (multi-center collection) permitted an update from former results published 15 years ago and to test new hypotheses. She also studied the psychoacoustic definition of a pulse train with cochlear implant users having residual or normal hearing on the non-implanted side.
Apart from her surgical activity, she is now also Scientific Advisor for a non-profitable French organization, Acting for Hearing (Agir pour l’Audition).

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02 November 2015

Synaesthesia: Is it for real, or the product of an over-ripe imagination

Presenter(s): Mr James Wannerton
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract
What is Synaesthesia? Of Greek origin: syn (union) aisthesis (perception). Joined perception or joined sensations.
Those of us with synaesthesia (Synaesthetes) have a neurological condition (not a disorder!) where one or more of the major senses - Hearing, Sight, Smell, Touch or Taste - is joined or connected to another.
Examples of synaesthesia include the ability to taste what you hear; hear what you smell; smell what you touch; or feel what you see! Others can "visualise" time or days of the week as spatial images, or "see" ordinary everyday objects as number matrices.
Synaesthesia can include all the senses and just about any combination of the five major ones is possible.
Synaesthesia is involuntary. The perceptions are automatic and cannot usually be controlled. Synaesthetes tend to filter the effects rather than be able to turn them off. The synaesthetic perceptions are durable and consistent over time.  They never change.
The most common form of synaesthesia by far is the coloured grapheme variety. This is where the sight of a written letter or word (grapheme) produces an automatic experience of a perceived and very specific colour regardless of whatever colour ink the letter or word is printed in. This can also include the numbers 0 - 9. Another common form is coloured hearing - the hearing of a sound leading to the experience of a perceived and specific colour.  An example of this is where someone will see a very specific colour in automatic response to a certain musical sound, or the sound of a word or letter being spoken.

Biography
James Wannerton from Blackpool, England experiences lexical-gustatory synesthesia; i.e. he "tastes" words or word sounds.
A committee member of the UK Synaesthesia Association, Wannerton has been the subject of detailed research carried out by the University College London and the University of Edinburgh regarding his synaesthetic condition.
His interests in synesthesia extend to researching cognitive perception, intuition, reasoning and cognitive dissonance and he has been the subject of a number of published research papers and general interest articles on the subject of synaesthesia both in Europe and the United States. Wannerton has also contributed to a number of TV and radio programmes broadcast by ABC, CBS, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. He has also been interviewed for articles in the UK National press as well as in Europe, the USA, Africa and Australasia.

Host: Rebecca Dewey (rebecca.dewey [at] nottingham.ac.uk)

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27 October 2015

TBC

Presenter(s):
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

(University College London)

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27 October 2015

TBC

Presenter(s): Dr Hannah Cooper
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

TBC

(UCL Institute of Child Health)

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26 October 2015

Effects of cognitive load on speech perception

Presenter(s): Dr Sven Mattys
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstact

Improving the validity of speech-recognition models requires an understanding of how speech is processed in everyday life. Unlike listening conditions leading to a degradation of the signal (e.g., noise), adverse conditions that do not alter the integrity of the signal (e.g., cognitive load, CL) have been under-studied. Drawing upon behavioural and imaging methods, our research shows that CL reduces sensitivity to phonetic detail and increases reliance on lexical knowledge. Importantly, we also show that increased reliance on lexical knowledge under CL is a cascaded effect of impoverished phonetic processing, not a direct consequence of CL. A CL-related deactivation of parts of the auditory cortex associated with early phonetic analysis confirms the early, sensory locus of CL. Ways of integrating CL into the functional architecture of existing speech-recognition models are presented.

 

Biography
Sven Mattys is professor of psychology at the University of York, UK. He obtained his PhD from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and did postdoctoral research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and at the House Ear Institute in Los Angeles. He then moved to the University of Bristol, UK, where he lectured from 2001 to 2012 before moving to the University of York. His research focuses on the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms involved in recognising speech, with a special interest in the everyday circumstances under which speech is experienced, such as noise and divided attention. He is a member of the Marie Curie Training Network INSPIRE (Investigating Speech Processing in Realistic Environments) and principal investigator on an ESRC project entitled "Word learning in early, middle and late adulthood".

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19 October 2015

Biophysics of the inner ear and beyond

Presenter(s): Dr Tobias Reichenbach
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract

TBA

Biography


Dr. Tobias Reichenbach is a Lecturer (US equivalent: Assistant Professor) at the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. He joined Imperial in 2013 after postdoctoral training in computational neuroscience and the biophysics of hearing  with Dr. A. J. Hudspeth at the Rockefeller University in New York. He graduated in 2008 with highest honors from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, where he researched on theoretical aspects of non-equilibrium pattern formation and statistical physics in the group of Dr. E. Frey.

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12 October 2015

See what you hear - Constructing a representation of the world from vision and audition

Presenter(s): Professor Uta Noppeney
Time: 13.00 -14.00
Location: NHBRU, Meeting Room 1

Abstract:

Abstract
To form a coherent percept of the environment the brain needs to integrate sensory signals from a common source and segregate those from different sources. Human observers have been shown to integrate sensory signals in line with Bayesian Causal Inference by taking into account the uncertainty about the world’s causal structure. Over the past decade, evidence has accumulated that multisensory integration is not deferred to later processing in association cortices but starts already in primary, putatively unisensory, areas. Given this multitude of multisensory integration sites, characterizing their functional similarities and differences is of critical importance.
Our research demonstrates that multisensory integration emerges in a functional hierarchy with temporal coincidence detection in primary sensory, informational integration in association and decisional interactions in prefrontal areas. Audiovisual interactions in low level sensory areas are mediated via multiple mechanisms including feedforward thalamocortical, direct connections between sensory areas and top down influences from higher order association areas.
Combining Bayesian modelling and multivariate decoding we demonstrate that the brain integrates sensory signals in line with Bayesian Causal Inference by simultaneously encoding multiple perceptual estimates along the cortical hierarchy. Critically, only at the top of the hierarchy, in anterior intraparietal sulcus, the uncertainty about the world’s causal structure is taken into account and sensory signals are combined weighted by their sensory reliability and task-relevance as predicted by Bayesian Causal Inference.


Biography
Uta Noppeney is Professor of Computational Neuroscience and director of the Computational Neuroscience and Cognitive Robotics Centre at the University of Birmingham, UK.  She received a degree in medicine (1997, Freiburg University, Germany), a doctorate in medicine (1998, Freiburg University) and a PhD in neuroscience (2004, University College London, UK). After training in neurology at the University Hospital in Aachen, she conducted neuroscience research at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College London. In 2005, she became research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tübingen, Germany.
She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neuroscience, NeuroImage and Frontiers of Integrative Neuroscience. Her group’s research employs psychophysics, functional imaging, transcranial magnetic stimulation and patient studies to better understand how the human brain integrates sensory information into a coherent percept of the environment and how it stores and retrieves this information from memory. To gain a more informed perspective on the computational operations and neural mechanisms of information integration, the group combines functional imaging with models of Bayesian inference and learning.

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