PhD scholarship in Evaluation of Pupillometry as an Indicator of Listening Effort

DTU Electrical Eng
Monday 08 Oct 18

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The Hearing Systems Group at the Department of Electrical Engineering seeks a qualified candidate for a 3-year PhD position. Our research is concerned with auditory signal processing and perception, speech communication, audiology, behavioural and objective measures of auditory function, computational auditory neuroscience, environmental acoustics, and hearing-instrument signal processing. The goal of the research is to understand the functioning of the human auditory system and to provide insights that are useful for technical applications, such as speech recognition systems, hearing aids, cochlear implants, and hearing diagnostics.

The aim of this PhD project is to examine the feasibility of pupillometry as a measure of listening effort in individual subjects with and without hearing impairment. If the reliability of the method can be proven, it facilitates the development of standardized tests feasible for clinical use.

Previous research has demonstrated that the measurement of the pupil dilation can be interpreted as reliable index of listening effort. Within the last years, pupil dilation methods have been studied extensively in relation to speech perception in background noise. However, the pupillometry method has only been considered on a group level and no attempts have been made to evaluate its reliability as a biomarker of listener effort in individual listeners. The pupil diameter has numerous sources of variation, including arousal, sustained cognitive load or light illuminance, and the relative contributions of these factors on the pupillary response are not clear yet.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD candidate will use pupillometry and other physiological measures of listening effort to investigate individual variance within a speech-in-noise test.

The applicant should have experience with designing experiments and with data analysis. Skills in signal processing would be advantageous.

Qualifications
Candidates should have a master's degree in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Torsten Dau, Petteri Hyvärinen and Dorothea Wendt.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Torsten Dau, tel.: +45 4525 3977.

You can read more about DTU Elektro on www.elektro.dtu.dk and the Hearing Systems group at www.hea.elektro.dtu.dk.  

Application
Please submit your online application no later than 15 November 2018 (local time). Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.  

The Department of Electrical Engineering is the central department within electrical and biomedical engineering. It is our goal to ensure research and engineering training at the highest international level. The department is organized into 8 groups each covering important areas of electrical and biomedical engineering. Including PhD students we have more than 270 staff members.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.