Photo of Josefine Andin

Josefine Andin

Senior Associate Professor

I am interested in neuroscience, scientific methods and disability research. The main focus of my research is on how the brain processes cognitively demanding tasks and in teaching I aim at stimulating students to reflect on for them relevant areas.

Presentation

Disability research

Disability research is an interdisciplinary subject where we investigate impairments and disability from a biopsychosocial perspective. Hence, biological, psychological and social factors interact and contribute to the emergence of a disability. Specifically, this means that an impairment at the biological/bodily level will be manifested as a disability only if the surrounding environment is not optimized for an individuals remaining functions. To understand disability coworker with different backgrounds are necessary which becomes evident at our division where I, as a medical biologist by training, collaborate with speech and language pathologists, audiologists, cognitive scientists, occupational therapists, psychologists and engineers.

Research

My research is placed within Disability research with a specific focus at cognitive hearing science and neuroscience. My main interest is how the brain processes cognitively demanding task in individuals with hearing loss and deafness. Below I sum up my research divided into three main areas.

A woman in a wheelchair sits in a room with computer screens.

Cognition under challenging conditions

Cognitive demands increase both when tasks are made more difficult and when the incoming signal is distorted by e.g. visual or auditory noise. How increased difficulty of a working memory task influence brain activity in signing deaf individuals were studied in a project together with coworkers at the University College of London (Cardin et al., 2018) as well as in a project here in Linköping (Andin et al. 2021). In the latter, we also investigated the influence of visual noise and how that interacts with increased working memory demands. In both of these studies we used fMRI to investigate the brain works in individuals that are deaf and uses sign language. In another fMRI study, with Dr. Carine Signoret as PI, the effects of auditory noise were investigated in hearing individuals. From these three projects a new project has evolved, where we plan to investigate the interaction between working memory demands and noise in both sign and spoken language. This project will be a part of Cristina Tobías’ PhD-project.

Auditory noise can also be cognitively challenging for other groups. In Isabella Ström’s PhD-project, we investigate how auditory noise influence reading and hearing comprehension in middle school children. The purpose of the project is to learn if different types of auditory noise affect reading and hearing comprehension differently and if there are subgroups of children that are especially challenged by auditory noise.

Another type of cognitive challenge comes from dealing with mental fatigue, which can arise alongside for example brain injury or postcovid. In a PhD-project run by Agnes Andersson at the clinic of rehabilitation medicine at Linköping University hospital, we investigate, together with Dr. Ulrika Birberg-Thornberg, how cognitive functions are affected by mental fatigue and how/if mental fatigue can be evaluated using objective measurements.

Mathematics in the signing brain

Mathematics in the signing brain is an area that I started to investigate when I did my PhD training. That project led to the first ever brain imaging publication on arithmetic in deaf signing individuals (Andin et al. 2019). We could show that signing deaf individuals used partly different brain regions to solve arithmetic tasks compared to hearing controls, even though performance on the tasks were comparable.

As a follow-up project, financed by the Swedish Research Council, I studied arithmetic and geometry in the same population. In the arithmetic study, we showed that the differences between hearing and deaf individuals were quite small, but that deaf individuals used frontal parts of the brain to a lesser degree but had stronger connections between this region and part of the temporal lobe.

Hearing loss, emotions and cognition

Hearing loss can affect the possibility to perceive emotions in speech. In Mattias Ekberg’s PhD-project, we investigate different aspects of hearing loss, hearing aid use and acoustic parameters on emotion processing.

In a project financed by Forte, we investigate how the transition to digital distance work during the pandemic affected participation at the workplace for individuals with hearing loss and deafness. The project is led by Dr. Elisabeth Ingo and is a collaboration with Hörselbron (research institute of the Swedish association of hard of hearing people).

Teaching

My teaching idea is that the learning process at all our courses are a common responsibility between student and teacher. The responsibility rest on mutual respect between teachers and students which will hopefully help the student to reach higher levels of understanding. My goal as a teacher is therefore to stimulate complex thinking and reflection in relevant areas.

During my bachelor and master I studied a program using problem based learning (PBL), where the focus is to learn from problems formed by the students themselves within certain limits. This is a pedagogic model that I use in my own teaching. Even when teaching more traditional courses, I try to stimulate the student to investigate the course content from different viewpoints and to study a range of literature to find answers to their questions. I want to emphasize that overarching understanding is more important than knowing facts by heart (although that can also be helpful at time) and that the teacher is not in possession of the only correct point of view. This standpoint leads to a strive to create courses were there is a clear connection between different parts of the education.

I teach in several different areas, mainly disability research, neuroscience and quantitative methods (statistics). In disability research and neuroscience I teach at basic, advanced and research education courses and in quantitative methods I teach at basic and advanced courses.

At present, I am course manager and examiner at the following courses:

  • Disability research 2, 30 hp
  • Cognitive psychology 2 – Neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience, 7,5 hp (psychology program)
  • Research methods and statistics, 9 hp (cognitive science program)
  • Science theory and research methods – statistics for teachers, 7,5 hp (master program in pedagogical work
  • Disability research, 7,5 hp (research education course)
  • Introduction to brain imaging, 3 hp (research education course)

Other engagements

  • Director of studies for courses in disability research
  • Member of the curriculum board at the faculty of philosophy Standin in the board of the department for behavioural sciences and learning

Publications

2023

Josefine Andin, Åsa Elwér, Elina Mäki-Torkko (2023) Arithmetic in the signing brain: Differences and similarities in arithmetic processing between deaf signers and hearing non-signers Journal of Neuroscience Research, Vol. 101, p. 172-195 Continue to DOI
Mattias Ekberg, Georgios Stavrinos, Josefine Andin, Stefan Stenfelt, Örjan Dahlström (2023) Acoustic Features Distinguishing Emotions in Swedish Speech. Journal of Voice, Article S0892-1997(23)00103-0 Continue to DOI

2022

Jerker Rönnberg, Carine Signoret, Josefine Andin, Emil Holmer (2022) The cognitive hearing science perspective on perceiving, understanding, and remembering language: The ELU model Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 13, Article 967260 Continue to DOI
Mattias Ekberg, Josefine Andin, Stefan Stenfelt, Örjan Dahlström (2022) Effects of mild-to-moderate sensorineuralhearing loss and signal amplification on vocalemotion recognition in middle-aged-olderindividuals PLOS ONE, Vol. 17, Article e0261354 Continue to DOI
Emil Holmer, Krister Schönström, Josefine Andin (2022) Associations between Sign Language Skills and Resting-State Functional Connectivity in Deaf Early Signers Frontiers in Psychology Continue to DOI

Organisation