Jan Wouters

Jan Wouters
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Department of Neurosciences

About

500
Publications
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13,050
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Publications

Publications (500)
Article
Full-text available
People with age-related hearing loss suffer from speech understanding difficulties, even after correcting for differences in hearing audibility. These problems are not only attributed to deficits in audibility but are also associated with changes in central temporal processing. The goal of this study is to obtain an understanding of potential alter...
Article
Full-text available
Humans rely on the temporal processing ability of the auditory system to perceive speech during everyday communication. The temporal envelope of speech is essential for speech perception, particularly envelope modulations below 20 Hz. In the literature, the neural representation of this speech envelope is usually investigated by recording neural ph...
Article
We describe a scalp-recorded measure of tonotopic selectivity, the "cortical onset response" (COR) and compare the results between humans and cats. The COR results, in turn, were compared with psychophysical masked-detection thresholds obtained using similar stimuli and obtained from both species. The COR consisted of averaged responses elicited by...
Article
Full-text available
Different studies have suggested that during speech processing readers with dyslexia present atypical levels of neural entrainment as well as atypical functional hemispherical asymmetries in comparison with typical readers. In this study, we evaluated these differences in children and the variation with age before and after starting with formal rea...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with single-sided deafness (SSD) have no access to binaural hearing, which limits their ability to localize sounds and understand speech in noisy environments. In addition, children with prelingual SSD are at risk for neurocognitive and academic difficulties. Early cochlear implantation may lead to improved hearing outcomes by restoring...
Article
Full-text available
Cochlear implant (CI) users show limited sensitivity to the temporal pitch conveyed by electric stimulation, contributing to impaired perception of music and of speech in noise. Neurophysiological studies in cats suggest that this limitation is due, in part, to poor transmission of the temporal fine structure (TFS) by the brainstem pathways that ar...
Article
Full-text available
Background Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective neuromodulation therapy to treat people with medication-refractory Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the neural networks affected by DBS are not yet fully understood. Recent studies show that stimulating on different DBS-contacts using a single current source results in distinct EEG-based evo...
Article
Hoewel de meeste kinderen vlot leren lezen, is dit niet voor iedereen het geval. Sommige kinderen ontwikkelen dyslexie, gekenmerkt door ernstige en hardnekkige problemen bij het leren lezen die in de meeste gevallen persisteren door de tijd, tot op het niveau van gevorderde lezers. Het is bekend dat de groep van personen met dyslexie atypische afwi...
Article
Diffusion-weighted imaging studies have repeatedly shown that white matter correlates with reading throughout development. However, the neurobiological interpretation of this relationship is constrained by the limited microstructural specificity of diffusion imaging. A critical component of white matter microstructure is myelin, which can be invest...
Article
Background: Enjoyment plays a key role in the success and feasibility of serious gaming interventions. Unenjoyable games will not be played, and in the case of serious gaming, learning will not occur. Therefore, a so-called GameFlow model has been developed, which intends to guide (serious) game developers in the process of creating and evaluating...
Article
Speech perception in difficult listening conditions depends highly on the temporal processing ability of the auditory pathway. In the present study, we investigate the inter-subject variability of young normal-hearing listeners in the identification of time-compressed speech and how the ability to identify time-compressed speech, as assessed by the...
Article
Full-text available
The visual word form area (VWFA) plays a significant role in the development of reading skills. However, the developmental course and anatomical properties of the VWFA have only limitedly been investigated. The aim of the current longitudinal MRI study was to investigate dynamic, bidirectional relations between reading, and the structure of the lef...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Deep brain stimulation (DBS) delivered via multicontact leads implanted in the basal ganglia is an established therapy to treat Parkinson disease (PD). However, the different neural circuits that can be modulated through stimulation on different DBS contacts are poorly understood. Evidence shows that electrically stimulating the subthala...
Article
Full-text available
Speech-perception testing is essential for monitoring outcomes with a hearing aid or cochlear implant (CI). However, clinical care is time-consuming and often challenging with an increasing number of clients. A potential approach to alleviating some clinical care and possibly making room for other outcome measures is to employ technologies that ass...
Preprint
Full-text available
Diffusion-weighted imaging studies have repeatedly shown that white matter correlates with reading throughout development. However, the neurobiological interpretation of this relationship is constrained by the limited microstructural specificity of diffusion imaging. A critical component of white matter microstructure is myelin, which can be invest...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Game enjoyment plays a key role in the success and feasibility of digital serious gaming interventions. Unenjoyable games will not be played and in the case of serious gaming, learning will not occur. Given this importance, a so-called GameFlow model has been developed, intending to guide (serious) game developers in the process of creat...
Article
Different studies have suggested that language and developmental disorders such as dyslexia are associated with a disturbance of auditory entrainment and of the functional hemispheric asymmetries during speech processing. These disorders typically result from an issue in the phonological component of language that causes problems to represent and m...
Article
Dyslexia has frequently been related to atypical auditory temporal processing and speech perception. Results of studies emphasizing speech onset cues and reinforcing the temporal structure of the speech envelope, i.e. envelope enhancement, demonstrated reduced speech perception deficits in individuals with dyslexia. The use of this strategy as audi...
Article
Speech perception depends highly on the neural processing of the speech envelope. Several auditory processing deficits are hypothesized to result in a reduction in fidelity of the neural representation of the speech envelope across the auditory pathway. Furthermore, this reduction in fidelity is associated with supra-threshold speech processing def...
Article
Full-text available
Dyslexia is targeted most effectively when (1) interventions are provided preventively, before the onset of reading instruction, and (2) remediation programs combine letter-sound training with phoneme blending. Given the growing potential of technology in educational contexts, there has been a considerable increase of letter-sound trainings embedde...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Pediatric single-sided deafness (SSD) can seriously affect development, causing impaired spatial hearing skills, speech-language delays, and academic underachievement. Early cochlear implantation likely improves hearing-related outcomes, but its association with language development remains unclear. Objective To investigate whether earl...
Article
Auditory processing is affected by advancing age and hearing loss, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. We investigated the effects of age and hearing loss on temporal processing of naturalistic stimuli in the auditory system. We employed a recently developed objective measure for neural phase-locking to the fundamental frequency of the...
Article
Full-text available
Primary education is the incubator for learning academic skills that help children to become a literate, communicative, and independent person. Over this learning period, nonlinear and regional changes in the brain occur, but how these changes relate to academic performance, such as reading ability, is still unclear. In the current study, we analyz...
Article
Objective The current study aimed to investigate the feasibility of the digit triplet test (DTT) as a self-test in normal-hearing children at school-entry age (5–6 years) compared to an administrator-controlled test. Design and study sample Thirty-seven first grade elementary school children took part in this study. Next to a pure-tone screening,...
Preprint
We describe a non-invasive electrophysiological (EEG) measure of tonotopic selectivity and compare the results between humans and cats. Sequences of 50-ms tone-burst probes were presented at 1-second intervals against a continuous noise masker, and the averaged cortical onset response (COR) to the probe was measured using EEG electrodes placed on t...
Article
Objective: 'F0 tracking' is a novel method that investigates neural processing of the fundamental frequency of the voice (f0) in continuous speech. Using linear modelling, a feature that reflects the f0 of a presented speech stimulus is predicted from neural EEG responses. The correlation between the predicted and the 'actual' f0 feature is a meas...
Article
Developmental dyslexia is most commonly associated with phonological processing difficulties. However, children with dyslexia may experience poor speech-in-noise perception as well. Although there is an ongoing debate whether a speech perception deficit is inherent to dyslexia or acts as an aggravating risk factor compromising learning to read indi...
Article
Traditional electrophysiological methods to study temporal auditory processing of the fundamental frequency of the voice (f0) often use unnaturally repetitive stimuli. In this study, we investigated f0 processing of meaningful continuous speech. EEG responses evoked by stories in quiet were analysed with a novel method based on linear modelling tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dyslexia has frequently been related to atypical auditory temporal processing and speech perception. Results of studies emphasizing speech onset cues and reinforcing the temporal structure of the speech envelope, i.e. envelope enhancement, demonstrated reduced speech perception deficits in individuals with dyslexia. The use of this strategy as an a...
Article
Objective This review article presents an overview of all Digit Triplet Tests (DTT) and digits-in-noise tests (DIN) and their variations in language, speech material, masking noise, test procedures, and targeted population. The effects on aspects of validity, reliability, and feasibility are investigated. Design Scoping review. Study sample All s...
Article
Different approaches have been used to extract Auditory Steady‐State Responses (ASSRs) from EEG recordings, including region‐related electrode configurations (electrode level) and the manual placement of equivalent current dipoles (source level). Inherent limitations of these approaches are the assumption of the anatomical origin and the omission o...
Article
Although the neural basis of dyslexia has intensively been investigated, results are still unclear about the existence of a white matter deficit in the arcuate fasciculus (AF) throughout development. To unravel this ambiguity, we examined the difference in fractional anisotropy (FA) of the AF between children developing dyslexia and children develo...
Preprint
Auditory processing is affected by advancing age and hearing loss, but the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. We investigated the effects of age and hearing loss on temporal processing of naturalistic stimuli in the auditory system. We analysed neural phase-locking to the fundamental frequency of the voice (f0) in 54 normal-hearing and 14 hea...
Article
Full-text available
The upper limit of rate-based pitch perception and rate discrimination can differ substantially across cochlear implant (CI) users. One potential reason for this difference is the presence of a biological limitation on temporal encoding in the electrically-stimulated auditory pathway, which can be inherent to the electrical stimulation itself and/o...
Preprint
Full-text available
The visual word form area (VWFA) plays a significant role in the development of reading skills. However, the developmental course and anatomical properties of the VWFA have only limitedly been investigated. The aim of the current longitudinal MRI study was to investigate dynamic, bidirectional relations between reading and the structure of the left...
Article
Full-text available
We measured the sustained neural response to electrical stimulation by a cochlear implant (CI). To do so, we interleaved two stimuli with frequencies F1 and F2 Hz and recorded a neural distortion response (NDR) at F2-F1 Hz. We show that, because any one time point contains only the F1 or F2 stimulus, the instantaneous nonlinearities typical of elec...
Article
Full-text available
Phase-locking to the temporal envelope of speech is associated with envelope processing and speech perception. The phase-locked activity of the auditory pathway, across modulation frequencies, is generally assessed at group level and shows a decrease in response magnitude with increasing modulation frequency. With the exception of increased activit...
Article
Full-text available
Phonological processing skills are known as the most robust cognitive predictor of reading ability. Therefore, the neural determinants of phonological processing have been extensively investigated by means of either neurofunctional or neurostructural techniques. However, to fully understand how the brain represents and processes phonological inform...
Article
Full-text available
Speech understanding problems are highly prevalent in the aging population, even when hearing sensitivity is clinically normal. These difficulties are attributed to changes in central temporal processing with age and can potentially be captured by age-related changes in neural generators. The aim of this study is to investigate age-related changes...
Presentation
Full-text available
Dyslexia is characterized by phonological processing problems, and many studies show that these are related to deficits in auditory temporal processing. Emphasizing onset cues and reinforcing the temporal structure of the speech envelope, i.e. envelope enhancement, showed potential to reduce speech perception deficits in higher education students a...
Article
Full-text available
Auditory steady‐state responses (ASSRs) are evoked brain responses to modulated or repetitive acoustic stimuli. Investigating the underlying neural generators of ASSRs is important to gain in‐depth insight into the mechanisms of auditory temporal processing. The aim of this study is to reconstruct an extensive range of neural generators, that is, c...
Article
Full-text available
Research demonstrated that a dyslexia diagnosis is mainly given after the most effective time for intervention has passed, referred to as the dyslexia paradox. Although some pre-reading cognitive measures have been found to be strong predictors of early literacy acquisition, i.e. phonological awareness (PA), letter knowledge (LK) and rapid automati...
Preprint
Objective ‘F0 tracking’ is a novel method that investigates the neural processing of the fundamental frequency of the voice (f0) in continuous speech. Through linear modelling, a feature that reflects the stimulus f0 is predicted from the EEG data. Then, the neural response strength is evaluated through the correlation between the predicted and act...
Article
Objectives: We investigated the impact of both intrinsic and extrinsic cognitive demands on auditory and secondary task performance in older adults with normal hearing (NH) and adults using hearing aids (HAs) in an ecologically relevant listening environment. Design: Fifteen adults with NH and 15 adults using HAs (60 to 72 years of age) were rec...
Article
Full-text available
Cochlear-implant (CI) users rely on temporal envelope modulations (TEMs) to understand speech, and clinical outcomes depend on the accuracy with which these TEMs are encoded by the electrically-stimulated neural ensembles. Non-invasive EEG measures of this encoding could help clinicians identify and disable electrodes that evoke poor neural respons...
Preprint
Traditional electrophysiological methods to study temporal auditory processing of the fundamental frequency of the voice (f0) often use unnaturally repetitive stimuli. In this study, we investigated f0 processing of meaningful continuous speech. EEG responses evoked by stories in quiet were analysed with a novel method based on linear modelling tha...
Preprint
We measured the sustained neural response to electrical stimulation by a cochlear implant(CI). To do so we interleaved two stimuli with frequencies F1 and F2 Hz and recorded a neuraldistortion response (NDR) at F2-F1 Hz. We show that, because any one time-point containsonly the F1 or F2 stimulus, the instantaneous nonlinearities typical of electric...
Article
One of the key components of fully-implantable hearing devices is the implantable microphone. A crucial parameter when characterizing implantable microphones is the acoustic sensitivity, as it is one of the input parameters for the fitting algorithm and influences the achievable gain. The aim of our study was to investigate the sensitivity of an im...
Article
Envelope following responses (EFRs) can be evoked by a wide range of auditory stimuli, but for many stimulus parameters the effect on EFR strength is not fully understood. This complicates the comparison of earlier studies and the design of new studies. Furthermore, the most optimal stimulus parameters are unknown. To help resolve this issue, we in...
Article
Full-text available
Insights into brain anatomy are important for the early detection of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as dyslexia. FreeSurfer is one of the most frequently applied automatized software tools to study brain morphology. However, quality control of the outcomes provided by FreeSurfer is often ignored and could lead to wrong statistical inferences. A...
Article
Full-text available
Cochlear implant users' limited ability to understand speech in noisy environments has been linked to the poor spatial resolution and the high degree of spectral smearing associated with the spread of neural excitation. A sound coding algorithm that aims to improve the spectro-temporal representation of the sound signal at the implanted ear by prec...
Article
Auditory processing of temporal information in speech is sustained by synchronized firing of neurons along the entire auditory pathway. In school‐aged children and adults with dyslexia, neural synchronization deficits have been found at cortical levels of the auditory system, however, these deficits do not appear to be present in pre‐reading childr...
Article
Objectives: We examined the effect of age on speech understanding and multitask costs in the ecologically relevant "Audiovisual True-to-Life Assessment of Auditory Rehabilitation"-paradigm (AVATAR). Design: Twenty-nine normal-hearing middle-aged adults completed AVATAR, which combines an auditory-visual speech-in-noise task with three secondary...
Article
Objective: Subjects implanted with a Direct Acoustic Cochlear Implant (DACI) show improvements in their bone conduction (BC) thresholds after surgery. We hypothesised that a new pathway for BC sound is created via the DACI. The aim of this study was to investigate the contribution of this pathway to the cochlear response via measurements of the pro...
Preprint
Frequency following responses (FFRs) can be evoked by a wide range of auditory stimuli, but for many stimulus parameters the effect on FFR strength is not fully understood. This complicates the comparison of earlier studies and the design of new studies. Furthermore, the most optimal stimulus parameters are unknown. To help resolve this issue, we i...
Preprint
Auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs) are evoked brain responses to modulated or repetitive acoustic stimuli. Due to a wide range of clinical and research applications, there is a great (clinical) interest to investigate the underlying neural generators of ASSRs. The cortical sources of ASSRs mostly are located in the auditory cortex (AC), althou...
Article
Full-text available
The human cochlea is deeply embedded in the temporal bone and surrounded by a thick otic capsule, rendering its internal structure inaccessible for direct visualization. Clinical imaging techniques fall short of their resolution for imaging of the intracochlear structures with sufficient detail. As a result, there is a lack of knowledge concerning...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have focused on neuroanatomical anomalies in dyslexia, yet primarily in school-aged children and adults. In the present study, we investigated gray matter surface area and cortical thickness at the pre-reading stage in a cohort of 54 children, 31 with a family risk for dyslexia and 23 without a family risk for dyslexia, of whom 16 chil...
Article
Objectives: Cochlear implants (CIs) restore functional hearing in persons with a severe hearing impairment. Despite being one of the most successful bionic prosthesis, performance with CI (in particular speech understanding in noise) varies considerably across its users. The ability of the auditory pathway to encode temporal envelope modulations (...
Article
Objectives: There is a high need among clinicians and researchers for an ecologically valid measure of auditory functioning and listening effort. Therefore, we developed AVATAR: an "Audiovisual True-to-life Assessment of Auditory Rehabilitation" which takes important characteristics of real-life listening situations into account, such as multimoda...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To investigate modifications of the Flemish Digit Triplet Test (DTT) to improve its efficiency, i.e. the use of a low-pass filtered noise and variable adaptive step sizes according to a digit scoring procedure, targeting different recognition probabilities. Design and study sample: Speech reception thresholds (SRT) were evaluated in term...
Article
Full-text available
There is an ongoing debate whether phonological deficits in dyslexics should be attributed to (1) less specified representations of speech sounds, like suggested by studies in young children with a familial risk for dyslexia, or (2) to an impaired access to these phonemic representations, as suggested by studies in adults with dyslexia. These confl...
Article
Auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs) are auditory evoked potentials that reflect phase-locked neural activity to periodic stimuli. ASSRs are often evoked by tones with a modulated envelope, with sinusoidal envelopes being most common. However, it is unclear if and how the shape of the envelope affects ASSR responses. In this study, we used vario...
Article
Full-text available
This longitudinal study is the first to assess linguistic and cognitive outcomes of children with cSSD implanted at a very young age. Despite the young age, these developing skills could be assessed by means of standardized test material and comparison to control groups. The toddlers of the SSD_CI group wear their device and perform largely in line...
Article
Objectives: Increasing evidence exists that poor speech perception abilities precede the phonological deficits typically observed in dyslexia, a developmental disorder in learning to read. Impaired processing of dynamic features of speech, such as slow amplitude fluctuations and transient acoustic cues, disrupts effortless tracking of the speech e...
Preprint
Auditory steady-state responses (ASSRs) are auditory evoked potentials that reflect phase-locked neural activity to periodic stimuli. ASSRs are often evoked by tones with a modulated envelope, with sinusoidal envelopes being most common. However, it is unclear if and how the shape of the envelope affects ASSR responses. In this study, we used vario...
Article
Full-text available
Temporal processing is essential for speech perception and directional hearing. However, the number and locations of cortical sources involved in auditory temporal processing are still a matter of debate. Using source reconstruction of human EEG responses, we show that, in addition to primary sources in the auditory cortices, sources outside the au...
Article
Full-text available
A language-independent automated self-test on tablet based on masked recognition of ecological sounds, the Sound Ear Check (SEC), was developed. In this test, 24 trials of eight different sounds are randomly presented in a noise that was spectrally shaped according to the average frequency spectra of the stimulus sounds, using a 1-up 2-down adaptiv...