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Equipe CAP (B.Tillmann)

par Alexandra Corneyllie, Barbara Tillmann, Fabien Perrin, Nicolas Grimault - 15 novembre 2012

Centre de Recherche en Neuroscience de Lyon

Equipe :
Cognition Auditive et Psychoacoustique


Perceivers’ brains track complex sound structures, keep signals in memory, learn regularities between sounds, build up knowledge and use these information to expect and anticipate future events.These expectations shape the perception of upcoming signals : processing of an expected event is faster and more accurate, less stimulation necessary and less neural resources engaged.
 Expectations can be based on perceptual, sensory information (sounds stored in auditory memory) and/or cognitive influences, such as attention or listeners’ knowledge about systems underlying auditory signals (e.g., linguistic or musical systems). We investigate perceptual and cognitive expectations with complementary approaches (psycho-acoustics, psychology, neurosciences) and methodologies (e.g., behavior, EEG, SEEG, MEG, PET, fMRI) ; we also develop links with clinical research (e.g., coma patients ; patients with hearing disorders or linguistic and musical deficits).



Membres :

  • Barbara Tillmann, researcher (DR2) CNRS 
  • Fabien Perrin , teacher-researcher, UCBL
  • Nicolas Grimault, researcher (CR1) CNRS
  • Alexandra Corneyllie, Engineer (IE2) CNRS
  • Yohana Lévêque, Postdoc
  • Maïté Castro, PhD student
  • Marion David, PhD student (co-dir. M Lavandier, ENTPE) 
  • Florent Gobert, PhD student (co-dir. J Luauté, IMPACT)
  • Lizette Heine, PhD student (ULg)
  • Florence Léger, Administrative
  • Romain Saroli, Administratif
  • Manuela Allegro, Administrative
  • Marc Thévenet, Engineer (IR) CNRS
  • Belkacem Messaoudi, Engineer (IE) CNRS
  • Samuel Garcia, Engineer (IE) CNRS
Looking for volunteers

 Contacts :
  • tel : +33
  • fax : +33 

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theme 1

1 - Effects of listeners’ knowledge (linguistic, musical, artificial) on perception

theme 2

2 - Implicit and unconscious processing

theme 3

3 - Temporal expectations and cross-modal interractions

theme 4

4 - Cross-domain interactions and clinical applications


Theme 1 - Effects of listeners’knowledge (linguistic, musical, artificial) on perception

 Cognitive expectations can be based on listeners’ knowledge about linguistic and musical structures as well as newly acquired artificial structures (in the lab). Listeners’ top-down expectations influence early perceptual processing steps, such as word detection, auditory scene analysis and pitch processing. For example, tonal expectations can influence pitch perception at perceptual processing steps and not only at task-related, decisional processing (Marmel et al., 2008, 2010). Moreover, linguistic knowledge facilitates the detection of speech stimuli over non-speech stimuli (Signoret et al., 2011). The use of artificial sound structures allows the investigation of short-term acquisition of new knowledge and the development of cognitive expectancies for both pitch and time dimensions with verbal and non-verbal materials.

Theme 2 - Implicit and unconscious processing

 Auditory expectations can operate not only at a conscious, explicit level, but also at a non-conscious, implicit level. The power of implicit cognition can be shown with the behavioral priming paradigm (e.g., Tillmann et al., 2007). Sub-threshold presentations of verbal material allow us to systematically investigate which levels of processing (e.g., phonological or semantic) can be reached for sounds that remain on an unconscious level (e.g., Signoret et al., 2011 ; Daltrozzo et al., 2011). With this research approach, we have confirmed the importance of neural oscillations to allow for conscious perception (Signoret et al., in preparation), and we will further investigate the crucial role of neural synchronizations for conscious representation of mental processes (perception and imagery), also with recordings of depth electrodes (in epileptic patients) to test long-distant coupling.

Theme 3 - Temporal expectations and cross-modal interractions

 Perceptual expectations can be guided by temporal structures and acoustic regularities. The emerging temporal expectations are related to attentional processes (Jones, 1976), We investigate temporal expectations for perception (e.g., Tillmann & Lebrun, 2006) and auditory scene analyses (Devergie et al., 2010), as well as for the learning of new structured systems. Perceptual expectations that influence auditory scene analyses that can be further supported by visual information (Devergie et al 2011). We also investigate the role and articulation of various perceptual and cognitive expectations in the organization of perceptual streams, notably when perceptual cues (e.g. in the auditory domain : temporal fine structure, envelope cues, spectral cues ; e.g. in the visual domain ; contrast, movement) and/or cognitive cues provide conflicting information.

Theme 4 - Cross-domain interactions and clinical applications

 Research in themes 1 to 3 provides the basis for research in theme 4 leading to clinical applications. First, we are interested in evaluating cognitive functions of patient populations (linguistic and musical processing), which allows us to further understand normal brain mechanisms and contributes to the development of diagnostic and predictive measures (e.g., Perrin et al., 2006 ; Schnakers et al., 2008). Second, the observation of neural resources shared between linguistic and musical structure processing (e.g., Tillmann et al., 2006), leads us to investigate music as a tool for stimulating cognitive processes (for example to improve cognitive sequencing ; Przybylski et al., in prep.). Part of this research integrates in the European grant project EBRAMUS.