Research Thread I:
Auditory processing deficits
throughout the lifespan


Need for precise and objective diagnostic methods for hearing impairment

The challenge

The characterisation of the individual’s hearing problem is still unsatisfactory. We lack precise, self-administered, objective, non-invasive and invasive, and statistically sound diagnostic methods for hearing impairment that allow the identification of impaired auditory functions due to distinct pathophysiological changes and underlying neurobiology. Moreover, we lack predictions of the best individualized therapeutic options for the particular age and degree of hearing loss.

Our approach

Auditory deficits will be traced to structural and functional changes in the developing and ageing brain in a comparative approach focussing on three areas of research: multisource perception, hearing loss and compensation, and the relationship between hearing and cognition. An unprecedented array of neuroscientific methods will be applied to understand the complex interplay throughout the lifespan between audition, the brain and cognition as the basis for developing auditory diagnostics and therapy.

We will concentrate on the three most important aspects of characterising individual hearing ability across the lifespan that are especially important for diagnostics and treatment with hearing devices:

  • hearing in complex, multisource environments,

  • plasticity as a compensatory function in hearing impairment and

  • interaction between hearing and cognition


Research Thread Leaders

Prof. Dr. Christiane Thiel

Oldenburg/UOL: Biological Psychology Contact
Institute of Psychology - Faculty VI
Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
26111 Oldenburg
+49 (0)441 798-3641
+49 (0)441 798-3848

Prof. Dr. Andrej Kral

Hannover/MHH: ORL/Audio-Neurotechnology Contact
Institute of Audioneurotechnology (VIANNA)
Hannover Medical School
Feodor-Lynen-Str. 35
D-30625 Hannover, Germany

Prof. Dr. Georg Klump

Oldenburg/UOL: Animal Physiology and Behavior Contact