Research Award of the University of Luebeck 2019

  • Alavash, Mohsen (Award Recipient) & Tune, Sarah (Award Recipient)

Prize: Awards of the University of Luebeck

General Description

Dr. rer. nat Mohsen Alavash and Dr. phil. Sarah Tune will be awarded the 2019 University Science Award for their joint research paper, "Modular reconfiguration of an auditory-control network supporting adaptive listening behavior."
In their work, they address the question that preoccupies neuroscientific, psychological, and audiological research alike: How do we manage to listen selectively to one person while ignoring competing noise?

In the Auditory Cognition group led by Prof. Jonas Obleser, the two scientists conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study to investigate how the optimized interaction of different brain regions enables targeted listening. Their findings, funded by the European Research Council (ERC), provide important new insights into the way different brain regions communicate with each other within neural networks and have the potential to contribute to future advances in the treatment of speech comprehension difficulties and the further development of hearing aids. The research was published this year in the prestigious, cross-disciplinary journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA (Alavash M, Tu-ne S, Obleser J, 2019, PNAS 116(2):660-669).

Dr. Mohsen Alavash, born in 1984 in Tehran, Iran, studied medical engineering in his hometown. After completing his master's thesis in 2012, he went to the University of Oldenburg, Germany, to study how brain connectivity is related to abilities such as multitasking as part of his PhD. Mohsen Alavash started his work as a research associate (post-doc) in the Auditory Cognition group in 2015, at that time still at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. Since the group moved to Lübeck in 2016, he has been employed as a research associate at the Institute of Psychology I at the University of Luebeck.

Dr. Sarah Tune holds a doctorate in neurolinguistics. She initially studied language and communication (B.A.) and German linguistics (M.A.) at the Philipps University of Marburg. After completing her doctoral thesis, which focused on brain processes of sentence processing in cross-linguistic comparison, she moved to the University of California, Irvine, USA for a two-year research stay. Since 2016, she has been working as a research associate in the likewise in the Auditory Cognition group.

The university`s Research Award has been awarded since 2004 as "Heinrich-Dräger-Wissenschaftspreis", initiated by the Lübeck patron and recipient of the University Medal Lisa Dräger, for a high-ranking scientific publication from the university.
Degree of recognitionLocal
Granting Organisations

Awarded at event

Event titleUniversity Awards 2019
LocationRathaus der Hansestadt Lübeck, Lübeck, GermanyShow on map

Research Area or Academic Center

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)