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Cognitive hearing science

Our hearing plays an important role when communicating with others. But how important is cognitive abilities
when it comes to our hearing? This question is the focus at Linnaeus Centre HEAD. Together we develop new knowledge that helps people with hearing loss in their everyday life.

This area of research focuses on communication with an emphasis on hearing and deafness from a handicap scientific perspective.

Within the HEAD area, cognitive hearing science represents a new, interdisciplinary field that focuses on how hearing-impaired and deaf people deploy cognitive resources to communicate in realistic, everyday situations.

One central theme is modelling the dynamic interplay in the nervous system between human cognition and the auditory signal processing characteristics of hearing enhancement devices.

Linnaeus centre HEAD is a collaboration between the universities of Linköping and Örebro within the Swedish Institute for Disability Research.

The backbone of the centre is a multidisciplinary research team, comprising a core group of senior scientists, postdoctoral research fellows and close collaborators.

Our research is conducted in three different environments;

1. Division of speech language pathology, audiology and oto rhino laryngology at the University Hospital in Linköping. 

2. Disability Research Division at Linköping University.

3. Audiological Research Center at the University Hospital in Örebro.

Research environments

Division of speech language pathology, audiology and oto rhino laryngology

Technical Audiology is a multidisciplinary research area where research in engineering, physics, medicine, psychology and behavioral sciences are integrated. We do research in areas such as hearing diagnostics, screening, physiology and hearing loss, as well as cognitive interaction with hearing loss and hearing aid technology.

Disability Research Division

Our focus is on cognition and communication, the processes that occurs in the brain when we receive, process and convey information.
A large part of our research is about hearing and deafness, but also cognitive conditions for communication in other groups, such as people with developmental disabilities and autism.

Audiological Research Center

Audiological Research is a meeting place for researchers and graduate students who is doing research in hearing and communication. Our aim is interdisciplinary clinical research in hearing, deafness and hearing disorders. The centre comprises state of the art auditory research laboratories.

We hear with our ears, but listen and understand with our brains

This video is about our research on hearing loss and deafness, and the brain's role in our hearing and how everyday life can be made easier for people with hearing loss (in sign language, ASL).


Latest news

eBook - Cognitive hearing mechanisms of language understanding

The goal of this research topic was to encourage submissions that could push the field forward by suggesting behavioral and neural mechanisms that are important for online language processing, and for long-term cognitive change. Each of the 34 papers that are included in this research topic have contributed toward meeting this goal, and to furthering our understanding of the complex interplay between cognition and language. In addition to papers reporting original research, the research topic also includes both review and opinion and theory articles, giving us not only new empirical evidence, but novel approaches and theories drawn from existing knowledge and data.

Edited by: Rachel J. Ellis, Patrik Sörqvist, Adriana A. Zekveld and Jerker Rönnberg.

Open seminars in Cognitive hearing science 


17/1 Kristina Fagher, Lund University and Nicolina Pernheim, University of Gothenburg.

7/2 Christiane Haukedal, University of Oslo.





It is possible to take part in these seminars online. Please contact Emil Holmer for more information.

CHSCOM - Cognitive hearing science for communication




Doctoral theses

Linnaeus centre HEAD forms part of the Swedish institute for disability research