The dB SPL is a research group embedded within the larger research group of Audiology  of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of UMCG, working closely with the other researchers and clinical teams (CINN) of the department. Fitting with our multidisciplinary research, our group consists of researchers coming from a wide range of backgrounds, including but not limited to, engineering, acoustics, psycholinguistics, psychology, medical sciences, artificial intelligence, and similar. We have many local and international collaborators, working with the leading experts in their respective fields.

For more information on the auditory research conducted in our department, please see the department page.


Dr. Christina Fuller

After her research internship that involved the next wish of cochlear implant users – now speech perception and communication are developed and most CI-users are satisfied in these fields – enjoying music, in the dB SPL group, Christina completed her MD/PhD with dB SPL in 2016.  Following on Victor Hugo, ”Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent,” the topic of her research was on music and the musical background in CI users. In her postdoctoral research, in collaboration with Dr. Rolien Free, Christina is exploring speech and music perception in a relatively understudied population of implant users, namely, early deafened late implanted individuals.

Dr. Laura Rachman

Laura is a postdoctoral researcher who joined dB SPL in 2019. Her research focuses on the effects of hearing loss and aging on voice and speech perception. During her PhD at IRCAM and the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris, she investigated the role of speaker and language familiarity in emotional voice perception, using voice transformation software. She is interested in combining behavioral and electrophysiological measures to study different processing stages involved speech perception, from low-level perception of voice cues to higher level speech understanding.

Dr. Thomas Koelewijn

Thomas joined the dB SPL group in 2019, where he investigates difficulties in voice identification, often experienced by cochlear implant users. He is interested in how low- and high-level language processing interacts during voice/speech perception and how this affects listening effort. After his PhD (2009) on cross-modal spatial attention, he worked as a researcher at the department of Ear & Hearing at the Amsterdam UMC. He worked on three projects (two financed by personal grants) that validated Pupillometry as a tool for measuring listening effort, and investigated how cognitive processes like working memory, attention, and motivation affect the pupil dilation response during effortful listening. During these projects Thomas collaborated with researchers in Boston, Linköping, Snekkersten, and Montreal and co-organized a biyearly workshop on the application of pupillometry in hearing science to assess listening effort.

Dr. Eleanor Harding

Ellie joined dB SPL in 2020 to investigate the rehabilitative effects of music on post-lingually deafened cochlear implant users, specifically in the areas of music and speech perception. In line with this, her PhD work, conducted at the Max Planck Institute CBS in Leipzig under Prof. Sonja Kotz and P.D. Dr. Daniela Sammler, spanned several topics including how musical ability is linked to music and language syntax processing. Her other research lines include: psychoneuroimmunological effects of postoperative music on patients in vulnerable populations; neurocognitive processes involved in entrainment to rhythm; the application of Neural Resonance Theory’s dynamical systems model to music and speech perception. Ellie also is affiliated with the Prins Claus Conservatory in Groningen and co-founded the conservatory-hosted Network for Interdisciplinary Research in Music (NIRM).

Dr. Gloria Araiza

Gloria joined dB SPL in 2020 as a postdoctoral researcher studying how diagnostics and rehabilitation therapies for people with hearing loss can be improved using Nao, SoftBank RoboticsTM humanoid robot. She developed a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation system for haptic feedback (producing tactile sensations) during her PhD in Robotics and Autonomous Systems at the University of Bristol. She is interested in how human-robot interaction (HRI) can positively affect the performance of patients when completing speech perception tasks, adapting the robot’s behaviour in search of an optimum communication.

Dr. Ruben Benard (affiliated researcher)

Ruben is affiliated as medical-physicist in audiology at Pento Speech and Hearing Centers. The last decade his special interest has been in pediatric audiology, from diagnosis to revalidation of hearing problems (Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants). Within Pento he is involved in the corporate innovation lab PentoLab and member of the Pento Scientific Board. Ruben is involved in a joint research project (Audiolistic) with NSDSK, Pento and dB SPL to gain insight in the conditions to participate in daily life for young children with moderate hearing loss.

Dr. Robert Harris (affiliated researcher)

Dr. Robert Harris was born in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. He studied piano with Ruth Slenczynska at Southern Illinois University and completed his studies with Willem Brons at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. He obtained a Master’s degree in Human Movement Science and a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Groningen, studying differences in brain activations between classically-trained improvising and non-improvising musicians. He is a long-time member of the Faculty of the Prince Claus Conservatoire and as a senior researcher affiliated with the Research Centre Art & Society, Hanze University of Applied Sciences. He has currently developed Guided Audiomotor Exploration (GAME), a piano method specifically designed to promote audiomotor integration and auditory perception which is now being used by cochlear implant users.

PhD students

Leanne Nagels (Semantics, co-promotor with: Prof. P. Hendriks)

After obtaining her Bachelor’ degree in Dutch Language and Culture at the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2014, Leanne followed the Erasmus Mundus programme in Clinical Linguistics (EMCL) and received a joint MSc degree from the Universities of Eastern Finland, Potsdam, and Groningen in 2016. For her master thesis, she did an internship at the dB SPL group and worked on the processing of contextual and lexical information in adult cochlear implant users (supervised by Anita Wagner, Roelien Bastiaanse, and Deniz Başkent). Leanne’s PhD project is an interdisciplinary project that combines the research fields of linguistics and audiology (supervised by Deniz Başkent and Petra Hendriks). Her PhD project investigates the perception of voice characteristics in children with cochlear implants and how it is related to their speech perception abilities and language development.

Elif Kaplan (Co-supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner)

Elif received her MA in Cognitive Science at Bogazici University, Istanbul. For her Master’s thesis, she investigated how expectations due to prior knowledge of a musical system may affect pitch perception. She joined the db-SPL group as a Marie Curie early stage researcher, as a part of the ENRICH European Training Network. Her PhD project is supervised by Dr. Deniz Baskent and Dr. Anita Wagner, investigating the underlying processes that may be involved in musician effect on language processing and how musical training may be used as a means to improve speech perception in hearing impaired populations.

Julie Kirwan (Co-supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner)

Julie obtained her MAI in Biomedical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2016. Her interest in speech stems from her Master’s Thesis, using EEG to decode attentional selection in a cocktail party environment. She joined the dB SPL group in 2017 as a Marie Curie PhD as part of the ENRICH European Training Network. At the moment she is working on emotion recognition research in normal hearing and hearing impaired listeners under the supervision of Dr. Deniz Başkent and Dr. Anita Wagner.

Marita Everhardt (CLCG, Co-promotors: Prof. W. Lowie, Dr. A. Sarampalis, collaboration: Dr. M. Coler)

Marita obtained her BA in English Language and Culture in 2015 and her MA(Res) in Linguistics in 2017, both from the University of Groningen. She specialises in (auditory and clinical) phonetics and phonology, speech prosody, and second language (L2) speech. Her interdisciplinary PhD project combines the research fields of linguistic and audiology and is carried out partly at the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen and partly at the dB SPL group (supervised by Wander Lowie, Tassos Sarampalis, and Deniz Başkent, in collaboration with Matt Coler). In her PhD project, she focuses on the perception of L2 prosody in cochlear implant simulations.

Ada Biçer (Co-supervisor: Dr. T. Koelewijn)

After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Izmir University of Economics in Turkey, Ada obtained her MSc degree in Cognitive Neuropsychology from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2019. For her master’s thesis she worked on retinotopic representations of subcortical structures. Intrigued by speech perception, she joined the dB SPL group in 2020. Currently, in the course of her PhD project, she is investigating the interaction between voice cue perception and language processing and how this influences listening effort within diverse listener populations (supervised by Dr. Thomas Koelewijn and Prof. Dr. Deniz Başkent).

Luke Meyer (Co-supervisors: Dr. L. Rachman, Dr. G. Araiza Illan)

Luke obtained his BSc in Human Life Sciences and Physiology, followed by a BSc (Hons) in Human Anatomy at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. Luke then moved to Groningen, Netherlands, where we obtained his MSc degree in biomedical engineering. For his master’s thesis, Luke explored if the existing auditory perception PICKA test battery developed by the DB SPL group could be incorporated and implemented into a humanoid Nao robot from SoftBank Robotics. The majority of the project, after implementing the experiments into the robot, was the validation of these experiments with the original battery through experimental means. Luke is now continuing with/expanding on his master’s thesis work in a PhD (co-supervised by dr. Laura Rachman and dr. Gloria Araiza Illan), by investigating how the implementation of the PICKA test battery on the Nao robot could be used as a testing interface, and support existing rehabilitative procedures for cochlear-implanted listeners.

Nelleke Jansen (Co-promotor: Prof. W. Lowie, Co-supervisors: Dr. E. Harding, Dr. H. Loerts)

Nelleke obtained her Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Culture and her Research Master’s degree in Linguistics at Utrecht University. Her interests include (the phonetics and phonology of) speech prosody, second language acquisition, and the links between music and speech perception. She combines these interests in her interdisciplinary PhD project, involving a collaboration between the Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG) and the dB SPL group. In this project, she investigates the role of musical skills in the processing and production of second language prosody.

Ryssa Moffat (Macquarie Univ., Australia; co-supervisors: Dr. L. van Yper, Prof. dr. D. McAlpine; promotor: Prof. dr. R. Bastiaanse)

Soner Türüdü (Co-supervisor: Dr. T. Koelewijn)

Soner obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Audiology at Hacettepe University in 2016 and received his MSc degree in Audiology & Speech and Voice Disorders from Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University in 2020. After obtaining his BSc, he worked as an Audiologist at a hearing aids centre in Ankara and as a research assistant at a university in Konya. For his Master’s thesis, he worked on acoustic and spectral voice characteristics of patients with OSAS. He won the scholarship which is granted by the Turkish Ministry of National Education, and he then joined the dB SPL group as a PhD student in May 2021. Besides his clinical experience, he likes to develop software and games about Audiology. For his PhD Project, he investigates various implementations of the DIN test to fully characterise the test capabilities (supervised by Dr. Thomas Koelewijn and prof. Dr. Deniz Başkent). For more details, please see his website.

Floris Rotteveel (Co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain)

Floris finished his Bachelor’s degree in Life Science & Technology with a project at the dB SPL lab under supervision of Etienne Gaudrain. With Etienne, he developed a method for relating cochlear implant processor output to sound inputs. For a while during his Masters in Biomedical Engineering he worked at the dB SPL group as a student assistant, conducting hearing experiments. After his Master’s, Floris shortly worked in industry at the R&D department of a podiatry company. Because of his wish to continue in audiology research, Floris returned to the dB SPL group at the end of 2022 thanks to a PhD grant from the W.J. Kolff Institute. Supervised by Etienne Gaudrain and Deniz Başkent, he now investigates how cochlear implant sound processing affects pitch perception of patients, focusing on real-life speech and music sounds.

Affiliated PhD students

Xunyi Wang (Sichuan University, PhD supervisor: Prof. Yun Zheng)

Xunyi is a PhD candidate at the Department of Hearing & Speech Rehabilitation, West China Hospital of Sichuan University. Her research focuses on auditory rehabilitation using hearing aids in hearing-impaired adults, and the assessment and treatment of tinnitus. She has conducted and published some relevant clinical studies. She is a one-year visiting PhD student in the dB SPL lab. She is now working with Prof. D. Başkent and Dr. L. Rachman on vocal emotion perception for Chinese populations.

Gizem Babaoğlu Demiröz (Hacettepe Univ., PhD supervisor: Prof. dr. G. Sennaroğlu)

After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Social Sciences from Bilkent University, and an additional MBA degree, Gizem worked for global medical companies Johnson & Johnson and Cochlear Ltd. During her business life in Cochlear, she was responsible for implantable hearing devices CI and Baha. Her responsibility turned into a strong interest in Audiology and soon she gained an MSc degree from Audiology & Speech and Language Pathology and currently, she continues her Ph.D. education at Hacettepe University – Audiology. She joined the dB SPL group in 2019 as a researcher of the joint project Vocal Emotion Perception with Children with Hearing aids and actively participated in Turkish adaptation of PICKA test battery. Within the scope of her Ph.D. thesis, she will be investigating voice characteristics perception abilities of bi-modal CI users via PICKA test battery in Turkish population. (PhD supervised by Prof Dr. Gonca Sennaroğlu )

Pınar Ertürk (Hacettepe Univ., PhD supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. D. Türkyılmaz)

Pınar received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from Hacettepe University. After joining  Erasmus Programme at Universidad de Alcala, Madrid , she decided to explore auditory disorders and obtained a MSc degree in Auditory, Language and Speech Disorders from Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University. For her Master thesis she focused on auditory perception. To accommodate this interest currently  she is  investigating  speech in noise and speech on speech perception in populations with hearing loss for her PhD. Meanwhile she joined dB SPL group as an affiliated researcher in 2019; works within Vocal Emotional Perception Project and Turkish adaptation of PICKA test battery (co-supervised by Prof Dr. Gonca Sennaroğlu). Recently Pınar has been awarded Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher Grant.

Başak Özkişi Yazgan (Hacettepe Univ., PhD supervisor: Prof. dr. G. Sennaroğlu)

Başak received her MA in Teachers of Children with Hearing Impairment at Anadolu University, Eskişehir, Turkey. For 10 years her focus has been on rehabilitation of hearing-impaired and deaf children using cochlear implants and hearing aids. After obtaining her MSc degree in Audiology &Speech and Language Pathology,  she continues her Ph.D. education at Hacettepe University, Department of Audiology. Currently, she owns a Hearing Aid shop in Ankara and has expertise on hearing-aid fitting for child and adult users. Başak joined the “dB SPL” group in 2019 as an affiliated researcher of Vocal Emotion Perception with Children with hearing aids Project.  She is investigating the vocal emotion recognition abilities of hearing aid users via PICKA test battery in Turkish population (PhD supervised by Prof Dr. Gonca Sennaroğlu).

Audiologist in training

Ir. Aline Hoeve

Aline first started working in the dB SPL group as a student assistant during her master in Biomedical Engineering at the RuG. After her graduation she started a post-academic specialization in Clinical Physics – Audiology. In the clinic Aline developed a special interest in pediatric audiology. Currently she is working in the AUDIOLISTIC research group, to gain insight in the conditions to participate in daily life for young children with moderate hearing loss.

Dr. Mathieu Blom (Collaboration: Dr. E. Gaudrain)

After completing his PhD in experimental physics, Mathieu started a post-academic track to become a clinical physicist-audiologist. His internship at dB SPL is part of these studies. In the clinic, he encounters many hearing-impaired patients who experience difficulties communicating in noisy situations. Therefore, his research focuses on speech understanding in noise: What do people need to single out one voice when there are competing speakers?

Master students

Maria Markaki (BCN Research Master, Supervisors: Dr. E. Harding, Dr. L. Rachman)
Marieke ten Hoor (Biomedical Engineering, Supervisors: Dr. E. Gaudrain, Drs. F. Rotteveel)
Mika Posthumus-Meysjes (Psychology, Supervisors: Dr. G. Araiza, Drs. L. Meyer)
Lucas de Melo (Biomedical Engineering, Supervisors: Dr. G. Araiza, Drs. L. Meyer)

Speech therapy students

Lotte Bos (Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
Mahalia Westra (Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
Corina Schoonveld (Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
Anniek Scholte (Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
Tess Huizing (Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)

We, Lotte, Mahalia, Corina, Anniek and Tess are five speech and language pathology students from the Hanzehogeschool Groningen. In our research minor we are looking into the differences in speech and language of early-deafened late-implanted and post-lingually deafened CI-users. We will be analyzing vocal recordings, spoken conversation and writing for both groups. Our ultimate goal is to create a clinical tool for speech language therapists to enable them to inform a patient about the possible outcomes of implantation before being implanted. We are all very excited to be part of this study and hope to be a valuable part of the outcome.

Student assistants

Almut Jebens (Supervisors: Dr. T. Koelewijn, Dr. T. Tamati)
Stefan Smeenk (Supervisors: Dr. T. Koelewijn, Dr. T. Tamati)
Lars Bakker (Supervisors: Dr. T. Koelewijn, Dr. T. Tamati)
Willemijn Brouwer (Supervisor: J. Lopez Santacruz)
Daniëlle van Veldhuize (Supervisor: J. Lopez Santacruz)

Research coordinator

Laura Heuveling

Laura Heuveling finished her masters degree in Biomedical Engineering before joining the ENT department as research coordinator and technological support for audiology. For the research group this means that all kinds of questions can be asked to Laura. Ranging from ‘can you help me calibrate?’ to ‘ why is my software not working?’ to data archiving questions; Laura is willing to try to help you out. And if she does not know how to help you: two persons looking for an answer is better than one person 😉

Admin support

In addition to research staff, we closely work with our admin support. In fact they make everything happen in our lab!

Gesina Posthumus-Ottema
Helma Boering

Esther Steenbergen
Wijnna Beuving
Jennifer Breetveld
Gerlinde Veenstra
Tessa Peijzel
Ria Woldhuis


Dr. Etienne Gaudrain
(CNRS Lyon, France)

Most of Etienne’s work concerns auditory scene analysis for speech communication in hearing-impaired listeners. During his PhD in Lyon with Nicolas Grimault, Etienne studied sequential segregation with speech-stimuli. He then moved to Cambridge, UK, where he worked with Roy Patterson on vocal characteristics and their role in defining perceived speaker identity. This was followed by a second postdoc with Bob Carlyon, still in Cambridge, to study the sequential aspects of concurrent speech perception in cochlear-implant listeners by developing Zebra-speech. Etienne has also collaborated with researchers in Lyon, Linköping, Geneva and Leipzig on connected projects. For more details, please see Etienne’s website.

Dr. Esther Janse
(Radboud University Nijmegen)

Esther Janse is an associate professor at the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her previous work focused on the production and perception of fast speech and on speech comprehension deficits in aphasia. Her current research interests include aging and hearing loss effects on spoken language (both on perception and production), perceptual adaptation in speech comprehension, and the role of individual cognitive abilities on speech processing. Her work is supported by research grants from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Image result for petra hendriksProf. Petra Hendriks
(Semantics and Cognition, RUG)

Prof. Hendriks is a full professor of semantics and cognition. She was the recipient of a prestigious NWO VICI grant in 2007, see more details at “Asymmetries in Grammar.” We recently started collaborating in a small project to explore the effects of simulated cochlear-implant processing on young children’s speech perception, using linguistic tests developed in prof. Hendriks’s lab.

Dr. Anastasios Sarampalis
(Psychology, University of Groningen)

Dr. Sarampalis is a lecturer at the Psychology department of the University of Groningen. He began his career in psychoacoustics in the UK where he worked with Deb Fantini and Chris Plack, before moving to California to work on hearing devices, first with Monita Chatterjee and then with Erv Hafter. His current research interests involve understanding the contributions of cognition in complex hearing situations and the interactions of cognition and hearing impairment. For more information, you can visit his website.

Dr. Monita Chatterjee
(Auditory Prostheses and Perception, Boys Town National Research Hospital)

Dr. Chatterjee is the director of Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital and a visiting associate research professor at University of Maryland. We have been collaborating on various topics relevant to vocal emotion and speech perception with individuals with hearing impairment or cochlear implants. For more information, please see here.

Prof. Pim van Dijk
(Otorhinolaryngology, UMCG)

Prof. van Dijk is a full professor of Audiology and the director of Audiology group at the UMCG.  He is an established researcher in tinnitus,and his research interests cover the broader topics of cochlear implants, biophysics of the inner ear, and neuroscience of hearing. For more information, please see his website.

Dr. Rolien Free
(Cochlear Implant Center Northern Netherlands (CINN) co-director, Otorhinolaryngology, UMCG)

Dr. Free is ENT doctor/otologist/neurootologist at the UMCG and co-director of the Cochlear Implant Center Northern Netherlands (CINN). She was trained in otorhinolaryngology by professor Albers at the UMCG and did her PhD ‘Exogenous factors influencing voice prosthetic biofilm’ in a joined project of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and the Lab for Biomaterials, now the W.J. Kolff Institute for Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science, with professor Henk Busscher. Since november 2004 she is a staff member of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology. In 2010 she received a grant from the Heinsius Houbolt Foundation, for a combined clinical and research fellowship on Neurootology. From april – june 2011 she worked with professor Sanna, Piacenza, Italy as a fellow on skull base surgery/neurotology and is now a teacher in his middle ear course. Also since 2006 she has been a tutor in professor Fisch’s middle ear course in Zurich, Switzerland.
Her focus of research interest are: cochlear implantation in adults and children, fibrosis and ossification of cochlea, pediatric otology/otorhinolaryngology including otogenetics, stapes surgery.

Prof. dr. Frans Cornelissen (Ophthalmology, NIC, UMCG)

Prof. Cornelissen is a full professor in visual neuroscience at the Laboratory for Experimental Ophthalmology of the UMCG. Frans is leading a group of motivated and intelligent young scientists who’s interest and goal it is to solve the problem of how vision enables us to comprehend the enormous complexity of the world around us. Additionally, his group aims to understand how vision loss – due to retinal or cortical lesions or neurological disorders – interferes with this process, . In this way, the group wishes to contribute to the goal of improving visual rehabilitation or even restoring vision. Frans is also acting as co-director with Deniz in the BCN-Brain programme Perceptual and Cognitive Neuroscience (PCN). For more details, visit his website.

Dr. Debi Vickers (Cambridge)

My early research career was in the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics at University College London (UCL) where I conducted my PhD studies into high-frequency speech perception by hearing aid users, as well as working on a project to develop early cochlear implants.  I continued working in auditory research and psychophysics in the Hearing Lab at the University of Cambridge looking at the perceptual consequences of hearing impairment and in particular the impact of cochlear dead regions.  Over the past ten years I have been an academic at UCL, where I am a Reader (Associate Professor) in Speech and Hearing Sciences.
My speech and hearing science background drives my interest in optimising speech delivery with hearing devices to enhance communication and improve life quality; this is currently the underpinning goal for my research group.  We are currently exploring cortical objective measures that could be used to guide cochlear implant mapping and also measures to fit hearing aids in babies. We are evaluating the parameter space for setting up individualised implant mapping and developing training approaches for optimising outcomes.
I also work closely with clinicians and researchers to change the candidacy criteria for cochlear implants in the UK and I am involved in the NHS England research and innovation group.  I am a sub-theme lead on “Transforming Hearing Devices” for the UCL Biomedical Research Centre on Deafness.
For more details see my website.

Prof. dr. Wander Lowie (Linguistics, RUG)

Wander Lowie is the chair of Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen. His research concentrates on second language acquisition with a special interest for phonetic/phonological and lexical aspects of language development. With national and international collaborators he has been working on Dynamic Systems Theory applications to second language development in the past 10 years, and is especially interested in language and embodied cognition. For more information, please see his website.

Dr. Waldo Nogueira (Hannover Medical School, Germany)

After many years in industry, Waldo is Junior Professor, since 2013, at the German Hearing Center of the Hannover Medical School. He is leading the Auditory Prosthetic Group of the Excellence Initiative project Hearing4all.  Since 2014 he is also an affilliate of the Institute for Information Processing of the Leibniz University Hannover. For more info please see here.

Prof. dr. Gonca Sennaroğlu (Hacettepe Uni., Turkey)

Prof. dr. Gonca Sennaroğlu graduated from Hacettepe University, Department of Physiotherapy in 1988, followed by an M.S. degree in Audiology and Speech and Language Pathology in 1992 and Ph.D. degree in 1998. In 2003 she became an associate professor, and in 2012 she became a full professor of Audiology.  Currently, she is Head of the Audiology Department at Hacettepe University and President of Turkish Audiologist and Speech Pathologists Association. Her specialization is in clinical pediatric audiology, with a focus on CI and ABI pediatric groups. She observed international audiology clinics with a  6-month researcher residency in Los Angeles House Ear Institute  (1997), and Stanford University Audiology Department (2007). She is supervising Hacettepe Cochlear Implant Team and in addition to clinical practice, they have a strong contribution to ABI and CI clinical studies.  She is a collaborator of the dB SPL group since 2019, as one of the Co-PIs of the joint project Vocal Emotion Perception with Children with Hearing aids.

Prof. dr. Hartmut Meister (Jean Uhrmacher Institute, Univ. Cologne, Germany)

Prof. Hartmut Meister initially studied electrical engineering with a focus on biomedical and communication technology. After working as a lecturer in the field of radiation protection and medical imaging he became a research assistant at the ENT-University Hospital in Cologne/Germany. He earned his doctorate on biomechanics and was appointed an associate professor in 2011. Since 2002 he has been head of the Audiological Research Group at the Jean Uhrmacher Institute affiliated with the University of Cologne and was a chairman of the hearing aid committee of the German Audiology Society between 2008 and 2013. His work focuses on speech perception, taking into account cognitive, linguistic, and audiovisual aspects. He has also a strong interest in hearing aids and cochlear implant rehabilitation.

Dr. Barbara Tillmann (Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, France)

After a PhD in cognitive psychology and postdoctoral research in cognitive neuroscience, Dr. Tillmann started a CNRS research position and directed the research group “Auditory Cognition and Psychoacoustics” at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center. Her research in the domain of auditory cognition uses behavioural, neurophysiological, and computational methods. She is investigating how the brain acquires knowledge about complex sound structures, such as music and language, and how this knowledge shapes perception and memory, notably via expectations. Her research also investigates perspectives for stimulating cognitive and sensory processes with music, including for pathological populations. Her publications are listed here.

Dr. Khiet Truong (Univ. Twente, The Netherlands)

I am an associate professor at the Human Media Interaction group at University of Twente and my research is about modelling speech communication in human-human and human-agent interaction. In particular, i am interested in paralinguistic aspects that are indicative of speaker characteristics and conversation dynamics among speakers for application domains such as human-robot interaction, multimedia retrieval, and digital health. Courses that i teach include Speech Processing, Affective Computing, and Foundations of Interaction Technology. Currently, I am an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing and an Editorial Member of Computer Speech and Language. Website:

Prof. Sarah Verhulst (Univ. Ghent, Belgium)

Prof. Dr. Verhulst heads the Hearing Technology Lab at Ghent University which adopts auditory-evoked potentials, sound perception as well as computational modelling and machine-learning-based to develop innovative hearing technologies. She has an electrical/acoustical engineering background and employs an interdisciplinary approach to study how sound and speech are encoded along the auditory pathway, addressing both fundamental auditory neuroscience and audiology research topics. Prof. Dr. Verhulst joined Ghent University in 2016 and is a co-founder of the Ghent Auditory Science Platform which gathers acoustical, ORL, audiology and psychology researchers at UGent working on hearing ( She is a member of the Belgian young academy of sciences, editor for the journal of the Acoustical Society of America, and leads several FWO and EU funded research projects (ERC, EIC, ERA-NET)She previously worked at DTU, Boston University, Harvard and Oldenburg University and won the 2016 Niedersachsen Wissenschaftspreis (Kat.II) as well as the 2019 Young Investigator Spotlight award from the Auditory Advances and Perspectives in Neuroscience society. Website:

Dr. Terrin Tamati (Vanderbilt Univ., USA)

A major focus of Terrin’s research concerns the perception of indexical (talker) variability, and how it may shed light on questions regarding the influence of prior language experience and individual perceptual and cognitive differences on speech perception. During her PhD studies at Indiana University with David Pisoni, Terrin worked on several projects examining the perception of regional and foreign accents by native and non-native listeners. She also contributed to the development of new, more realistic sentence recognition test materials in American English and Dutch. This work led her to pursue her current research on how cochlear implant listeners perceive speech in more difficult, real-life environments involving speech variability. With her current work, she seeks to identify the cognitive, linguistic, and perceptual skills necessary for cochlear implant listeners to better understand speech in these real-life environments.

Dr. Evelien Dirks (NSDSK)

Dr. Evelien Dirks is a psychologist, a senior researcher, and the program leader of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Research and Development Program of the Dutch Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (NSDSK) in Amsterdam. She is leading the nationwide “Deelkracht” DHH 0-5 program that aims to develop and share knowledge and expertise on deaf and hard of hearing children aged 0 – 5 yr. She is also a lecturer at Utrecht University at the Department of Developmental Psychology. Her research focuses on parent-child interaction language, social-emotional and cognitive development in young deaf and hard of hearing children. In addition, she is involved in ongoing studies on the effect of early interventions and school readiness. She has published and lectured internationally on topics related to early development in children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Next to her research, she co-developed books, movies, courses, and apps for children with hearing loss, their parents, and professionals. The children sign app that she co-developed has been rewarded with several prices and received an honorable mention for the best Dutch infant/toddler app.

Dr. ir. Jantien Vroegop (Erasmus MC, Rotterdam)

Dr. Jantien Vroegop, a medical physicist – audiologist at Erasmus MC, The Netherlands, holds a master’s degree in Medical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. Following her training in audiology, she earned her PhD focusing on hearing aid fitting in bimodal CI users. Currently serving as a staff member in the otorhinolaryngology department and as an assistant professor she leads various research projects exploring the impact of hearing loss on daily life, particularly among the pediatric population. Her overarching goal is to ensure that deaf children have the same opportunities in life as any other child, driving both her clinical work and research activities.

Ir. Bert Maat, CINN co-director, Otorhinolaryngology, UMCG
Dr. Marc van der Schroeff, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
Drs. Tjeerd de Jong, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam
Dr. Peter Derleth, Sonova, Switzerland
Dr. Gurjit Singh, Sonova, Switzerland
Dr. Stefan Launer, Sonova, Switzerland
Dr. J. Bourien, CNRS, France
Prof. dr. Jean-Luc Puel, CNRS, France
Prof. dr. M. Malmierca, Univ. Salamanca, Spain
Prof. dr. M. Knipper, Tübingen Hearing Research Centre, Germany
Dr. Lukas Rüttiger, Tübingen Hearing Research Centre, Germany
Drs. Tine Arras, KU Leuven
Prof. dr. Astrid van Wieringen, KU Leuven

Past collaborations

  • Prof. dr. ir. Natasha Maurits (Neurology, UMCG)
  • Dr. Lars Riecke (Maastricht Univ)
  • Dr. Lendra Friesen (Sunnybrook Hospital, Canada)
  • Dr. Dicky Gilbers (Linguistics, RUG)
  • Dr. Piotr Majdak (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna, Austria)
  • Prof. Carla Vlaskamp (Orthopedagogy, Univ. Groningen)
  • Prof. dr. W. Ruijssenaars (Orthopedagogy , Univ. Groningen)
  • Dr. Diane Lazard (Ecole Normale Supérieure, France)
  • Dr. T. Andringa (Artifical Intelligence, Univ. Groningen)
  • Dr. Robert Morse (Audiology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, UK)
  • Dr. Stephen Holmes (Audiology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, UK)
  • Prof. Hedderik van Rijn (Psychology, RUG)
  • Dr. Thomas Stainsby (Cochlear Benelux Belgium)
  • Dr. Andy Boynen (Radboud UMC)
  • Dr. Qian-Jie Fu (UCLA, CA, USA)
  • Dr. E. Akyürek (Psychology, Univ. Groningen)
  • Dr. J. Opie (Med-El, Austria)
  • Prof. dr. Roelien Bastiaanse, Neurolinguistics, RUG
  • Past admin support (forever grateful!): Ria Woldhuis, Carla Stalman, Nadine Tuinman
  • Dr. Tim Jürgens, Univ. Lubeck, Germany
  • Dr. Paddy Boyle, Advanced Bionics ERC, Germany
  • Prof. dr. David McAlpine (Macquarie Univ., Australia)
  • Dr. Lindsey van Yper (Macquarie Univ., Australia)


Dr. Olivier Crouzet (University of Nantes, France)

I am a permanent lecturer in Nantes University (France). I’m interested in dynamical aspects of speech perception and production. These involve two complementary properties that I try to investigate. One is
whether fast temporal changes in speech signals, which relate to fast movements in speech production, can hold information that is meaningful for speech comprehension. This involves studying changes in acoustic speech cues on relatively short time scales that typically “join” two successive segments in the speech chain (like /b/ and /a/ in /ba/). Another side of “dynamics in speech” relates to the fact that the speech signal provides many different forms of information (about the speaker identity, gender, mood as well as about the linguistic content) that interact together. Access to one of this dimensions of information is tightly related to the other dimensions, for example changes in speaker’s voice impact the perception of vowel categories. We try to model how listeners dynamically access and combine these information simultaneously. Part of this work is conducted in Deniz Başkent’s team, targeting both normal-hearing speakers and deaf patients wearing cochlear implants.


  1. Floris Rotteveel (Student assistant; currently dB SPL PhD student)
  2. Terrin Tamati (Researcher, currently at Vanderbilt University)
  3. Elif Gülgeç (Internship, Erasmus+, Supervisors: Drs. A. Biçer, Dr. T. Koelewijn)
  4. Lisa Hoogeveen (Master’s Project and Thesis, BCN ReMa, Supervisors: Drs. S. Türüdü, Dr. T. Koelewijn)
  5. Ryan Gray (Master Thesis, Cognitive Psychology & Physiology, Supervisors: Dr. E. Harding, Dr. L. Rachman)
  6. Berrit Stiensma (Master Thesis, BCN, Supervisor: Drs. M. Everhardt)
  7. Imke Hrycyk (Master Thesis, BCN, Supervisor: Dr. E. Harding)
  8. Almut Jebens (Master Thesis, BCN, Supervisor: Dr. L. Rachman)
  9. Mustafa Yüksel (Visiting researcher)
  10. Stefan Smeenk (Bachelor’s project and thesis, BME, Supervisors: Dr. L. Rachman, Dr. E. Harding)
  11. Nathan Kisjes (Bachelor’s project and thesis, BME, Supervisor: Dr. G. Araiza)
  12. Tobias Treczoks (Master thesis, Erasmus, Oldenburg, Supervisor: Dr. T. Koelewijn)
  13. Minke de Boer (PhD, in collaboration with Ophtalmology, Co-promotor: Prof. F. Cornelissen)
  14. Luke Meyer (Master thesis, BME, Supervisor: Dr. L. Rachman; currently dB SPL PhD student)
  15. Thawab Shehab (Master thesis, EMCL+, Supervisor: Dr. T. Koelewijn)
  16. Emily Price (Master thesis, EMCL+, Supervisor: Dr. L. Rachman)
  17. Enrico Manzella (Bachelor’s project, University College Groningen, Supervisor: Dr. L. Rachman)
  18. Leanne Nagels (PhD, in collaboration with Semantics, co-promotor with: Prof. P. Hendriks)
  19. Anita Wagner (Researcher, currently at UMCG)
  20. Ben Zobel (visiting PhD, GROW scholar, Univ. Mass, USA, co-supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner)
  21. Floor Arts (PhD, not completed)
  22. Janneke Janssens (Student assistant, Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
  23. Jefta Saija (PhD, Co-supervisors: Dr. T. Andringa, Dr. E. Akyürek)
  24. Nawal El Boghdady (PhD, Co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain)
  25. Ilja Venema (Bachelor’s project and thesis, Biomedical Technology, Co-supervisor: Dr. Marije aan het Rot, Fac. Psychology)
  26. Merel De la Rie (Internship, Cognitive Psychology, Supervisor: Minke de Boer)
  27. Joëlle Jagersma (Master Thesis, BCN, Daily supervisor: E. Kaplan; currently PhD student of Dr. S. Pyott, UMCG)
  28. Dana Kort (Master Thesis, Medical student, Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
  29. Lissy Sijp (Bachelor’s project, Linguistics, Supervisor: Dr. Tamati)
  30. Juliette Vertregt (Bachelor’s project, Linguistics, Supervisor: Dr. Tamati)
  31. Anne Nijman (Student assistant)
  32. Roos van Doorn (Student assistant)
  33. Floris Rotteveel (Bachelor’s Honors, Life Science and Technology, also student assistant, Supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain)
  34. Sjors Bech (Bachelor’s Honors, Life Science and Technology, Supervisor: Dr. T. Tamati)
  35. Jurre Roeleveld (Bachelor’s project, Bimoedical Technologies, Supervisor: Dr. C. Fuller)
  36. Alejandro Reina (Student assistant)
  37. Lajenda van de Waardt (Student assistant)
  38. Thirsa Huisman (Master Thesis, BME, Co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain; currently PhD student at DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark)
  39. Aline Hoeve (Master Thesis, BME, Daily supervisors: Dr. A. Wagner, ir. B. Maat)
  40. Sem Foreman (Bachelor Thesis, Life Science and technology, Daily supervisors: Dr. E. Gaudrain, Dr. O. Crouzet)
  41. Victor Fletcher (Bachelor’s thesis, Biomedical Engineering, Daily supervisors: Dr. E. Gaudrain, Drs. N. El Boghdady)
  42. Britt Bosma (Student assistant)
  43. Fergio Sismono (Student assistant)
  44. Tayebeh Ahmadi (Visiting researcher, Daily supervisor: Dr. T. Tamati, Dept. Audiology,  University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
  45. Enja Jung (PhD, not completed; Co-supervisor: Dr. T. Sarampalis, collaboration: Prof. W. Lowie)
  46. Dr. Jeanne Clarke (PhD, co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain; currently postdoctoral researcher LMA, CNRS, Marseille, France)
  47. Dr. Bea Valkenier (AI PhD, Co-supervisors: dr. T. Andringa, prof. L. Schomaker)
  48. Dr. Christina Fuller (Medical internship, dB SPL PhD, co-supervisor: Dr. R. Free; currently dB SPL researcher)
  49. Dr. Carina Pals (PhD, co-supervisor: Dr. A. Sarampalis; currently assistant professor (lecturer) Psychology, Department of Psychology, The University of Utah Asia Campus, Incheon, South Korea)
  50. Dr. John Galvin (PhD, co-supervisor: Prof. Q.-J. Fu; currently researcher UCLA)
  51. Dr. Pranesh Bhargava (PhD, co-supervised Dr. E. Gaudrain; currently assistant professor (contract), Dept. of Humanities and Social Sciences, BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, India)
  52. Peter Litmaath (Cognitieve Psychology en Psychofysiologie, Supervisors: Drs. E. Jung, Dr. A. Sarampalis)
  53. Annika Luckmann (PhD, not completed)
  54. Jessy Ceha (Human & Machine Communication, Supervisors: Drs. A. Luckmann, Dr. M. van Vugt; currently PhD student Univ. Waterloo, Canada)
  55. Bianca van Elteren (Cognitieve Psychology en Psychofysiologie, Supervisor: A. Luckmann)
  56. Leanne Nagels (EMCL, Supervisors: Dr. A. Wagner, Prof. R. Bastiaanse; currently dB SPL PhD student)
  57. Rosa Jonker (BCN ReMa, Supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner)
  58. Wilke Bosma (Student assistant)
  59. Dr. Luise Wagner (Visiting PhD student, supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner; currently audiologist at Universitätsklinikum Halle (Saale), Germany)
  60. Jacqueline Libert (Research assistant, BCN Master Thesis, co-supervisors: Dr. E.Gaudrain, Dr. D. Vickers; currently lecturer Dept. Psychology, RUG)
  61. Douglas Costa (Internship, University of São Paulo Medicine School (FMUSP), co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain)
  62. Robel Gebre (Master project, Biomedical Engineering, supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner)
  63. Julia Verbist (Student assistant)
  64. Fergio Sismono (Master project, Biomedical Engineering, supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner, also student assistant)
  65. Julian Bakker (Bachelor’s thesis and script, Biomedical Engineering, co-supervisor: Drs. A. Luckmann)
  66. Dr. Nikola Valtchev (Technical support on EEG; currently researcher at Yale University)
  67. Dr. Kirsten van den Bosch (PhD; currently CEO at SoundAppraisal and Researcher at the professorship User-Centered Design at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences)
  68. Dr. Ruben Benard (audiologist in training, PhD; currently medical physicist / audiologist at Pento Speech and Hearing Center Zwolle)
  69. Charlotte de Blecourt (BCN Research Master, supervisor: Dr. A. Wagner; also student assistant)
  70. Nick Schubert (JSM, co-supervisors: Dr. R. Hofman, Dr. G. Izaks)
  71. Evelien Birza (Internship, Praedinius Gymnasium, Co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain, J. Libert)
  72. Iris van Bommel (Internship, Praedinius Gymnasium, Co-supervisor: Dr. E. Gaudrain, J. Libert)
  73. Like Schepel (Master, Medical student, Co-supervisor: dr. R. Free; currently medical intern, ENT Department, Isala Klinieken Zwolle)
  74. Dr. Léon Faber (Technical and research support)
  75. Dr. Kris Boyen (Researcher, Supervisors: P. van Dijk & D. Başkent; currently lecturer, Hanze University of Applied Sciences)
  76. Steven Gilbers (Linguistics master student, Co-supervisor Dr. C. Fuller, R. Free, D. Gilbers; currently PhD student, RUG)
  77. Karin van der Velde (Student assistant, Co-supervisor Dr. C. Fuller)
  78. Marleen Kremer (Language & Cognition, Co-supervisor dr. A. Wagner)
  79. Lucas Stam (Biomedical Engineering Master, Co-supervisor dr. E. Gaudrain)
  80. Suzanne van Engelshoven (Biomedical Engineering Master, Co-supervisor: Dr. J. Galvin)
  81. Zheng Ng (Internship, Linguistics, Co-supervisor prof. P. Hendriks)
  82. Joeri Smit (Intern, Medical student, Co-supervisors: Bert Maat, Diane Lazard)
  83. Marica Baldessarini (Erasmus exchange student, Italy, Co-supervisor: Drs. C. Pals)
  84. Floor Burgerhof (Student assistant)
  85. Esmée van der Veen (Student assistant)
  86. Maraike Coenen (Student assistant)
  87. Inge Wessel (Utrecht Univ, Clinical Language, Speech and Hearing Sciences, Co-supervisor: Dr. K. Boyen)
  88. Deniz Kazanoǧlu (Erasmus student, Co-supervisors: Dr. E. Gaudrain, Dr. J. Clarke)
  89. Marije Sleurink (Student assistant)
  90. Korien Leemhuis (BMT Master, Co-supervisor Prof. P. van Dijk)
  91. Renske Bosman (BCN Master, Co-supervisor Dr. E. Akyürek)
  92. Renée Koolschijn (BMT Master, Co-supervisor Dr. P. Bhargava)
  93. Mart van Dijk (BCN Master, Co-supervisor Dr. C. Pals)
  94. Riccarda Peters (BCN Master, Co-supervisor Dr. E. Akyürek)
  95. Sanne Masselman (Linguistics, Co-supervisor Drs. P. Bhargava)
  96. Enja Jung (Psychology, Co-supervisor Dr. A. Sarampalis)
  97. Jefta Saija (HMC Master’s, Co-supervisor Dr. E. Akyürek)
  98. Annemieke ter Harmsel (Student intern; student assistant)
  99. Jet Vonk (Student intern; Co-supervisor Dr. R. Benard)
  100. Jurriaan Duyne (BCN Research Master; Co-supervisor Dr. T. Andringa, Dr. B. Valkenier)