Auditory Cognition

Institute of Psychology I

Group Members

Jonas Obleser (Group leader)
Mohsen Alavash (Postdoc)
Leon Franzen (Postdoc)
Markus Kemper (PhD student)
Jennifer Klotke (Audiologist)
Frauke Kraus (PhD student)
Troby Lui (PhD student)
Hong-Viet Ngo (Postdoc)
Martin Orf (PhD student)
Franziska Scharata (Audiologist)
Lea-Maria Schmitt (Postdoc)
Sarah Tune (Postdoc)
Malte Wöstmann (Postdoc)

Research Interests

With our research, we hope to foster a unique cognitive neuroscience perspective on challenging listening situations, age-related hearing loss, and the possibilities of successful adaptation to it. Audition poses particular challenges to neuroscience: First, the “bottom-up” processes of acoustically decoding and neurally encoding the auditory signal along the central auditory pathways are not well understood. Second, humans cope surprisingly well with various sorts of occlusions, deletions, and degradations in their auditory input—in phone lines and at noisy parties, in chronic hearing damage, or, most drastically, when living with an artifical inner ear. “Top-down” or executive functions like attention clearly support these successful coping processes; their neural interfacing with auditory processes is unclear, however, and of particular relevance to our work. Our research questions thus touch on hearing, psychology, and neuroscience alike. We pursue them using listening and learning experiments and various methods of brain imaging.


  • Peter Lakatos, Nathan Kline Institute / NYU Lagone Medical Center, New York, USA
  • Nathan Weisz, University of Trento, Italy
  • Thomas Lunner, Eriksholm Research Centre, DK & University of Linköping, Sweden

Latest Publications

1) Waschke, L., Tune, S., Obleser, J. (2019). Local cortical desynchronization and pupil-linked arousal differentially shape brain states for optimal sensory performance. eLife

2) Wöstmann, M., Alavash, M., & Obleser, J., (2019). Alpha oscillations in the human brain implement distractor suppression independent of target selection. The Journal of Neuroscience–19.2019

3) Obleser, J., & Kayser, C. (2019). Neural entrainment and attentional selection in the listening brain. Trends in Cognitive

4) Wöstmann, M., Schmitt, L-M., Obleser, J. (2019). Does Closing the Eyes Enhance Auditory Attention? Eye Closure Increases Attentional Alpha-Power Modulation but Not Listening Performance. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

5) Alavash, M, Tune, S., Obleser, J. (2018/2019). Modular reconfiguration of an auditory-control brain network supports adaptive listening behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (P N A S)

More publications on Pubmed