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Principal Investigator

I am interested in how our brains support hearing in younger and older adulthood. We use a wide range of behavioral, physiological, and brain recording tools (including psychophysics, pupillometry, EEG, MEG, fMRI). Before starting my Scientist and Assistant Professor position at the Rotman Research Institute and University of Toronto, I was a postdoc in the CONCH lab at Western University (Canada) and a postdoc in the Auditory Cognition lab at the Max Planck Institute CBS (Germany). I enjoy traveling, hanging out with good people, and playing squash. 

Signe photo.JPEG


Postdoctoral fellow

Signe is a postdoctoral fellow at the Rotman Research Institute. She obtained a PhD in Food Science from Aarhus University, Denmark, examining how sound and music influences eating behavior. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods, Signe brings insights on how to study auditory perception and its relation to everyday life experiences. Her current research explores experiential aspects of listening to podcasts and audiobooks among older adults with vision loss and how it can support wellbeing. Outside of work, Signe is a coffee nerd, bakes sourdough bread, and cruises around Toronto on her bike.



Postdoctoral fellow

Yue is a postdoctoral researcher at the Rotman Research Institute. Coming from a biomedical engineering background, she obtained a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Munich (LMU), Germany. Her current research focuses on auditory perception in senior groups using both psychophysical and electrophysiological approaches. Her other research interests include interval timing, Bayesian optimization, and Absolute Pitch(AP) perception. She is a Radiohead nerd and amateur musician on classical piano and guitar.



Graduate student

Geneva is a PhD student at UofT and the RRI being co-supervised by Drs. Björn Herrmann and Jennifer Ryan. She completed her BSc at York University in the Specialized Honours in Psychology program. Geneva is interested in researching how vision, listening, and cognitive processes integrate at the behavioural and neural level, with the aim to promote healthy aging. Her research involves eye-tracking, fMRI, behavioural testing, and computational models. Outside the lab, Geneva is either buried in the latest hot novel, starting a crochet project that will never be finished, or biking around Toronto's nature trails.



Graduate student

Ryan is a PhD student in psychology at the RRI and UofT. He completed his HBSc in Biological Physics, Mathematics, Psychology at UofT. Ryan is interested in learning about how humans listen and attend, and aims to understand how humans encode and retrieve events through memory networks within the auditory domain. Ryan was previously the Peer Mentor for the Victoria College First Year Learning Community where he facilitated community building and academic success. Beyond his work, Ryan is an avid traveller, enjoys playing tennis, and going for runs in the warm weather.



Graduate student

Personal Webpage

Fran is a PhD student in Psychology at the Rotman Research Institute and UofT. She completed a Bachelor’s in Psychology at X (Ryerson) University, and an honour’s thesis in Dr. Russo’s SMART Lab. Fran’s research explored auditory, visual, and audiovisual activations of the human mirror neuron system. Before beginning the PhD program, Fran worked as the lab manager of the SMART Lab for five years. Her current research aims to better understand the physiological changes associated with listening engagement. In addition to working on research, Fran performs and composes music on the piano.



Graduate student

Eric (twitter: @mecui22) is a graduate student in psychology at the Rotman Research Institute and UofT, co-supervised by Björn and Dr. Allison Sekuler. He is interested in the interactions between bottom-up and top-down processing in humans, especially in the aging population, by using both behavioural and neuroimaging methods. He completed his HBSc at the Mississauga campus, where he studied age-related differences in visual perception and listening effort at the human communication lab. In addition to being an active researcher, he enjoys exploring new hiking trails around the GTA.



Graduate student

Frauke received her BSc in Medical Technology from the Universities of Tübingen and Stuttgart and her MSc in Auditory Technology from the University of Lübeck. During her master thesis in the Auditory Cognition group of Jonas Obleser at the University of Lübeck, she developed a fascination for the field of auditory neuroscience. Frauke is currently working on her PhD (supervised by Jonas and Björn). She is interested how different levels of attentional resource recruitment affect neural oscillations during listening, and the extent to which this oscillatory activity can be used as a marker of listening effort.



Co-op student

Christie is a HBSc student at University of Toronto specializing in Cognitive Neuroscience. Throughout her three years at UofT, she has studied advanced research and data analysis methods. She is enthusiastic about working on hearing-related projects in the Auditory Aging Lab. In addition to studying at UofT, Christie also spent the past year working at Scarborough Health Network’s Mass Vaccination Clinic. She gained first-hand experience in helping her community to combat Covid-19. Apart from her strong interest in research, Christie enjoys spending time outdoors with her beloved dog and travelling with her family.



Co-op student

Priya is a third year undergraduate student at University of Toronto completing a Specialist in Neuroscience under the Cognitive stream and a Minor in Psychology. As a member of the Auditory Aging lab, she is excited to contribute to research and interventions that may help people with hearing difficulties function better. Priya has completed advanced courses in research methods and programming and is currently also completing a Supervised Study in Neuroscience at the University of Toronto. In addition to research, she loves to read, browse bookstores and libraries, and meditate.



Co-op student

Tiffany is a second year undergraduate student at University of Toronto specializing in Mental Health and minoring in Biomedical Ethics. In her time at UofT, she has completed advanced data analysis, ethics and biochemistry courses. As a part of the Auditory Aging lab, Tiffany is eager to learn about the intervention and experiences of people with hearing difficulties. In addition to research and her studies, she enjoys tutoring in various subjects, reading, caring for her pets and learning about new topics.

Research volunteers
  • Silvia Margarian

  • Andrew Cole

Previous team members


Co-op students

  • Tazeen Atif: 2022


  • Garima Sharma: 2021 - 2022

  • Naman Sharma: 2021 - 2023

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