Multisensory Perception


The overall aim of our research is to understand how the human brain combines expectations and sensory information to communicate.
Our ability to successfully communicate with other people is an essential skill in everyday life. Therefore, unravelling how the human brain is able to derive meaning from acoustic speech signals and to recognize our communication partner based on seeing a face represents an important scientific endeavour.
Speech recognition depends on both the clarity of the acoustic input and on what we expect to hear. For example, in noisy listening conditions, listeners of the identical speech input can differ in their perception of what was said. Similarly for face recognition, brain responses to faces depend on expectations and do not simply reflect the presented facial features.
These findings for speech and face recognition are compatible with the more general view that perception is an active process in which incoming sensory information is interpreted with respect to expectations. The neural mechanisms supporting such integration of sensory signals and expectations, however, remain to be identified. Conflicting theoretical and computational models have been suggested for how, when, and where expectations and new sensory information are combined. Our group is interested in understanding how the human brain combines expectations and sensory information to communicate and how individuals differ in their use of expectations.

Visit us on: http: //

  • Staff
    • Multisensory perception
    • Speech recognition
    • Face recognition
    • Predictive processing

  • •

    Blank, H. & Bayer, J. (2022). Functional imaging analyses reveal prototype and exemplar representations in a perceptual single-category task. Communications Biology, 5, 896 (2022)

    Krumbiegel, J., Ufer, C., & Blank, H. (2022). Influence of voice properties on vowel perception depends on speaker context. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 152:820–834

    Alink, A., & Blank, H. (2021). Can expectation suppression be explained by reduced attention to predictable stimuli? Neuroimage, 231

    Blank, H., Spangenberg, M., & Davis, M. (2018). Neural Prediction Errors Distinguish Perception and Misperception of Speech. The Journal of Neuroscience, . 38 (27) 6076-6089.

    Blank, H. & Davis, M. (2016). Prediction errors but not sharpened signals simulate multivoxel fMRI patterns during speech perception, PLOS Biology, 14(11)

    •Blank, H., Kiebel, S. J. & von Kriegstein, K. (2015). How the human brain exchanges information across sensory modalities to recognize other people. Human Brain Mapping, 36(1), 324-39.

    Blank, H., Wieland, N., & von Kriegstein, K. (2014). A review on person-recognition and the brain: Merging evidence from patients and a brain imaging meta-analysis on healthy controls. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 47, 717-734.

    •Blank, H., Biele, G., Heekeren, H. & Philiastides, M. (2013). Temporal characteristics of the influence of punishment on perceptual decision making in the human brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33(9), 3939-3952.

    •Blank, H. & von Kriegstein, K. (2013). Mechanisms of enhancing visual-speech recognition by prior auditory information. Neuroimage, 65, 109-118.

    •Blank, H., Anwander, A., & von Kriegstein, K. (2011). Direct structural connections between voice- and face-recognition areas. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(36), 12906-12915.

    • DFG Emmy Noether Programme Expectations in Communication, Blank 2021-2026
    • DFG Research network for the Interdisciplinary Study of Predictive Processing in Memory and Perception (PPiMP)
    • Research grant for young investigators by University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf 2020
    • Marie Curie IF fellowship 2017-2019

  • Please, get in touch in case you want to do an internship or Master thesis in our group.