Invited speakers

Maarten de Vos

Kate Watkins “The neural bases of speech and language”

Kate Watkins is Professor for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the neural bases of speech and language in the healthy and the impaired brain. She studies the brain processes underlying speech and language and brain development by working with populations of children and adults with developmental and acquired disorders of speech and language, e.g. stuttering, verbal dyspraxia, acquired aphasia. Her lab uses a number of different methods in the laboratory including neuropsychological testing, brain imaging and brain stimulation

Maarten de Vos

Robert Becker “The role of neural oscillations for speech perception”

Robert Becker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Neurolinguistics Division at UZH. He is interested in how spontaneous oscillatory brain activity is linked to task-related activity, for example, how brain oscillations as measured by EEG or MEG shape brain responses during processing of sensory input or under cognitive load. Robert has used modelling, EEG, MEG, and combined EEG-fMRI to tackle these questions. In his current position, he uses his expertise in oscillatory brain dynamics to identify, track and finally modulate the ongoing transient brain signatures involved in speech processing by neurofeedback with the ultimate goal of boosting speech perception with the help of EEG-neurofeedback.

Maarten de Vos

Maria Kliesch “The link between EEG resting state features and linguistic competence”

Maria Kliesch is a PhD student at the Zurich Center for Linguistics at UZH. She currently investigates how a new language is learned in old adulthood using electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings. Her research addresses two main questions: 1) How cognitive capacities, socio-affective and electrophysiological factors predict individual trajectories during foreign language acquisition and 2) whether older adults show training-related cognitive benefits by learning a new language. To do so, Maria uses dense-longitudinal data of both quantitative and qualitative nature, combining psychological, linguistic, socio-affective and electrophysiological measures.

Maarten de Vos

Joachim Gross “Perceptually relevant speech tracking in auditory and motor cortex reflects distinct linguistic features”

Joachim Gross is a Professor for Systems Neuroscience at the University of Glassgow and Director of the Institute for Biomagnetism and Biosignalanalysis at the University of Muenster. His research group investigates the functional role of brain rhythms under physiological and pathological conditions applying MEG and EEG to observe these rhythms non-invasively in the human brain. His team uses sophisticated methods to estimate how these rhythms change dynamically in specific brain areas and how these changes are related to disease state or cognitive tasks.

Maarten de Vos

Antje Strauss “The contribution of specific frequency bands (alpha and theta) oscillations to speech perception: Evidence from electrophysiology and electric brain stimulation”

Antje is currently a Principal Investigator of a three years project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgesellschaft (DFG) on "The role of theta oscillations for prelexical abstraction" at the University of Konstanz. Her research focuses on speech processing and auditory cognition. For her research she applies EEG and electric brain stimulation techniques.

Maarten de Vos

Basil Preisig “Altering connectivity within the speech network by means of electric brain stimulation”

Basil Preisig is a postdoctoral researcher in the Neurolinguistics Division at the Psychology Institute of the University of Zurich. His research focuses on the neural mechanisms of speech processing and multimodal communication in the healthy and the diseased brain. For his research, he applies different methods such as eye movement recordings, non-invasive brain stimulation (tACS, TMS), neuroimaging (fMRI, lesion mapping), and the combined approaches like concurrent tACS-fMRI.

Maarten de Vos

Saskia Steinmann “Manipulating neural dynamics in schizophrenia to reduce auditory verbal hallucinations”

Saskia Steinmann is a Senior Researcher at the Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf. Her research focuses on the multimodal combination of neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, EEG, and DTI) to investigate the pathophysiological mechanism of auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH) in schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder. Additionally, she works on projects utilizing advanced DTI techniques to characterize high-risk state for developing psychosis. In doing so, she hopes to translate her neuroimaging-based insights into novel, safe and effective interventions, such as tACS and neurofeedback to improve current available treatments for AVH.

Maarten de Vos

Johanna Rimmele “Plasticity of speech processing and the role of the motor system”

Johanna Rimmele is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. She investigates the precise role of cortical oscillations in speech processing. She is interested in top-down and predictive mechanisms of speech perception and the role of auditory motor tuning (how perceptual rhythms and speech production interact) during verbal processing. For her research, Johanna applies EEG and MEG.

Jens Hjortkjæer

Jens Hjortkjær “Decoding of auditory attention in EEG”

Jens Hjortkjær is a Senior Researcher at the Danish Research Center for Magnetic Resonance and at the Hearing Systems group at Technical University of Denmark. His research areas are hearing, auditory cognitive neuroscience, experimental psychology, psychoacoustics, music psychology, music audio processing. For his research he uses neuroimaging techniques (fMRI & EEG) in combination with machine learning decoding.

Maarten de Vos

Maarten de Vos “Neurofeedback and real-time speech tracking – the potential for neurolinguistics”

Maarten De Vos has a joint appointment as Associate Professor in the Departments of Engineering and Medicine at KU Leuven after being Associate Professor at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and Junior Professor at the University of Oldenburg, Germany. He obtained an MSc (2005) and PhD (2009) in Electrical Engineering from KU Leuven, Belgium. His academic work focuses on AI for health, innovative biomedical monitoring and signal analysis for daily life applications, in particular the derivation of personalised biosignatures of patient health from data acquired via wearable sensors and the incorporation of smart analytics into unobtrusive systems.
His pioneering research in the field of mobile real-life brain-monitoring has won several innovation prices, among which the prestigious Mobile Brain Body monitoring prize in 2017. In 2019, he was awarded the Martin Black Prize for the best paper in Physiological Measurements.

Maarten de Vos

Michael Tangermann “Brain-computer interfaces and language processing – perspectives and challenges”

Michael Tangermann is head of the Brain State Decoding Lab at the University of Freiburg. His research focuses on the development of machine learning methods for non-stationary and noisy time series data. As such algorithms allow for single-trial decoding of mental states from neuronal signals, his team also translates the data analysis methods into clinical and non-clinical applications. Examples are improved human-robot interaction paradigms, non-invasive and invasive brain-computer interfaces (BCI) systems for closed-loop deep brain stimulation or novel rehabilitation training approaches for patients after stroke.