SensationaHL is an ERC Starting Grant project (2022) led by Axelle Calcus - CRCN, Faculty of Psychology and Education

Finding your way around the playground, understanding the teacher's explanations over the chatter of the neighbours, lip-reading to better understand in noise: these are all complex auditory skills, but they are essential for navigating the school system.

In children with normal hearing, the auditory system is mature from 6 months of age. However, complex auditory skills remain immature until adolescence. Interestingly, adolescence is characterised by the onset of puberty, which triggers a cascade of hormonal changes, which support neural plasticity (and vice versa).

The main hypothesis of the SensationaHL project led by Axelle Calcus - CRCN (Centre for Research in Cognition and Neuroscience), Faculty of Psychological Sciences and Education - is that adolescence may present a second sensitive period for complex auditory skills. Just as puberty is gradual, the sensitive periods are spread over several years.

This project uses a multidisciplinary approach to better understand the late development of complex auditory skills. In doing so, this project will have a significant impact on public health, language education, and our theoretical understanding of the notion of sensitive periods across the life span.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant  agreement No GA 101076968).
Created on November 25, 2022