​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Our perceptual and cognitive abilities are what make us human. They determine how human beings perceive the world around them and how they interact with their physical, social and cultural environment, and whether they make sense or non-sense out of it.

Our PCN research programme holds two main research lines:

  • Sensory and cognitive systems throughout the lifespan,
  • Disease or disorder-related changes in sensory and cognitive system.

In these two research lines we answer questions such as:

  • How does the brain serve our perceptual and cognitive functions?
  • How do the complex interactions between sensory and cognitive systems change with aging?
  • How do these interactions change with disorders and illnesses?
  • How do such changes affect the way humans interact with their physical, social and cultural environment?
  • How do we maintain healthy perceptual and cognitive systems and function?
  • How can we help people reach their full potential in society?
Relevance

Our research improves lives of patients with hearing or vision impairments

Sight and sound are important for awareness of ourselves and our surroundings. They determine how we interact with people and perceive the world around us. Disruption of hearing or vision can be devastating for people’s life.

With our studies, we want to help our patients reach their full potential in life and society. We develop techniques and tools to maintain healthy perceptual and cognitive systems and function, and to improve impaired functioning. Our approach is multidisciplinary, involving specialists from engineering, otorhinolaryngology, cognitive neuroscience, audiology, music neurocognition, and music pedagogy.

  • We are implementing GAME, an improvisation-based piano instruction method developed by Robert Harris from the research group ‘Lifelong Learning in Music’ of the Prince Claus Conservatoire (Groningen), for use with persons with a cochlear implant. Our team will investigate GAME’s potential benefits on their perception of speech and music, as well as quality of life.

    Networks such as the European Piano Teacher’s Association will make it possible to reach a large number of certified piano teachers able to acquire the GAME approach and apply it in their practice.

    Collaboration with Embrace Nederland, an organization promoting the use of music to increase the quality of life in vulnerable individuals, such as older adults with dementia, will grant access to a wide network of amateur and professional musicians, students and health-care professionals.

    Through our existing collaborations with cochlear implant manufacturers, we will efficiently communicate with our cochlear implant users and health-care professionals.