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Auditory Language Processing, Hearing and Attention Laboratory (ALPHAlab)

Take part in an experiment!

Have you ever found it difficult to follow one conversation in a crowd? We are seeking volunteers for a study of selective listening in noisy environments.

About this lab

Lab directors

Our research interests

  • The focus of our research is the relationship between perceptual and attentional processes and spoken language comprehension throughout the lifespan. We are currently investigating:
    • the effects of a challenging listening environment on semantic and syntactic comprehension in healthy adults and children
    • the relationship between auditory perceptual development and language acquisition in children
    • changes in perceptual sensitivity, working memory capacity and attentional control that accompany normal ageing, and their effects on spoken language comprehension in quiet and noise
    • the role of perceptual and attentional factors in developmental and acquired language disorders
    • the neural mechanisms responsible for the perception of speech and non-speech stimuli in ideal and adverse listening conditions
    • parallels between emerging expert systems in audition, language and vision.


  • We explore these questions using:
    • behavioural paradigms
    • functional magnetic resonance imaging
    • electrophysiological measures (in collaboration with other research groups).

Where our research is conducted

Students in the lab

  • Daniel Carey (Birkbeck/UCL MSc Cognitive Neuroscience)
  • Saloni Krishnan (CBCD/BUCNI)
  • Alejandra Sel de Felipe (CBCD)
  • Ke Tan (Birkbeck/UCL MSc Cognitive Neuroscience)


Funding (past and present)

In Memoriam

In loving memory of Elizabeth Bates (1947-2003), our incomparable mentor and friend.