Personal information

Adriana  Zekveld

Adriana Zekveld (PhD) is a senior researcher at the Section Ear & Hearing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, VU medical center, Amsterdam.

Zekveld currently focuses on the application of pupillometry to assess listening effort during speech perception tasks. In summer 2018, 6 PhD students will start in a Marie Curie ITN EC project (HEAR-ECO) that aims to develop and assess ecologically valid conditions for the evaluation of hearing-aid benefit using physiological measures including pupillometry. Adriana Zekveld applied for this project together with Sophia E. Kramer and is project manager HEAR-ECO, as well as for LISTEN, a previous Marie Curie ITN EC project.

Furthermore, Zekveld recently performed a study to the relationships between listening effort and hearing-related stress: “The Pupil Response and Individual Listening Load (PupILL): Towards the development of a clinically applicable measure of cognitive processing load in daily life hearing”. This study was performed at the Section Ear & Hearing, Dept. of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Amsterdam Public Health research institute at the VU University medical centre in Amsterdam. The study focused on the validation of pupillometric research to study processing load during listening.

Zekveld has innovatively combined pupillometry and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to assess the cognitive abilities that are reflected by the pupil response to listening (NWO Veni project). Internationally, her line of research has received much interest from research groups and industry. Key players in the field have adopted the method. These groups include one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers (OTICON A/S) that collaborate with Zekveld. Zekveld has co-supervises two PhD students (B Ohlenforst and Y Wang), and three more PhD students wil start in 2018.

Between 2009 and 2017, Zekveld has been working as a senior lecturer at the Linnaeus centre HEAD, Linköping University, Sweden. She assessed the contribution of semantic context on speech perception using behavioral methods, fMRI and pupillometry. She co-supervised Lisa Kilman (PhD, finished in 2015), who focused on the influence of language (Swedish versus English) on speech perception.

Research focus:

  • Physiological measures of cognitive processing during listening (pupillometry and fMRI)
  • Speech comprehension, hearing loss, age, listening effort & cognition
  • Cognitive hearing science
  • Cognitive test development (Text Reception Threshold test)
  • Evaluation of the speech perception benefit obtained from telephone-applications during speech comprehension