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Some of our work is featured in public media. Find information about the lab's media coverage below.

The social isolation risk associated with age-related hearing loss

Featured paper:

Motala A, Johnsrude IS, Herrmann B (2024) A longitudinal framework to describe the relation between age-related hearing loss and social isolation. The Trends in Hearing 28:1-18.

The Herald Scotland (online):

"... research defines three stages in the descent into social isolation – disengagement, social withdrawal and social isolation."

The Sunday Post, Scotland (print coverage):

"It is a problem that affects more than 65% of adults over 60 in the UK, but the social isolation caused by hearing loss is only starting to be understood."

Eye movements decrease during effortful listening

Featured paper:

Cui & Herrmann (2023) Eye movements decrease during effortful speech listening. The Journal of Neuroscience 43:5856-5869. coverage:

"two neuroscientists at the Rotman Research Institute in Canada have recently been exploring the relationship between effortful listening and eye movements. Their most recent paper, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, suggests eye movements tend to decrease while young adults are placing greater effort in trying to hear speech."

Other online news coverage:

Older adults do not distinguish well between human and modern AI speech

Featured paper:

Herrmann B (2023) The perception of artificial-intelligence (AI) based synthesized speech in younger and older adults. International Journal of Speech Technology 26:395-415.

Other online news coverage: silvercentury,org,,

CTV news coverage:

"As recent years have seen rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) programs, rendering increasingly human-like computer-generated text and speech, a new study warns that older adults are most at risk of tumbling within the traps of phone scams and fraud. ..."

Toronto Star coverage:

"Scientists suggest seniors may be less attuned to the emotion-free speak of AI. But what if it’s tied to our confusion over how younger humans speak? ..."

Older adults may be better at listening in noisy social settings than long thought

Featured paper:

Irsik VC, Johnsrude IS, Herrmann B (2022) Age-related deficits in dip-listening evident for isolated sentences but not for spoken stories. Scientific Reports 12:5898.

Online news coverage:;;

"Ever grumble about your grandpa's tendency to cheat during a spirited game of gin rummy; or mutter under your breath when grandma asks you to help clean the table at family dinner? Well, you might want to do it more quietly, because there's a good chance they can hear you better than you think. ..."

Aged brains are hyper-responsive to sound

Featured paper:

Herrmann B, Maess B, Johnsrude IS (2018) Aging affects adaptation to sound-level statistics in human auditory cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience 38:1989-1999.

Print coverage: London Free Press

"Trouble tuning out noise as you age? Blame your brain, not your ears. A new study from Western University says aging brains are more sensitive to all sounds ..."

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Brain synchronization with speech is altered in older adulthood
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Featured paper:

Henry MJ, Herrmann B, Kunke D, & Obleser J (2017) Aging affects the balance of neural entrainment and top-down neural modulation in the listening brain. Nature Communications 8:15801

Print coverage: London Free Press

"... why it’s so hard for some people, especially seniors, to follow a one-on-one conversation when there’s background noise ..."

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