Audiovestibular Research Unit Ghent

Audiology research line

The auditory system

This research domain focuses on the investigation and prevention of factors affecting the auditory system in both the general population (recreational and occupational noise exposure), through

  • prevention, evaluation and monitoring of hearing-related problems,
  • epidemiological studies,
  • attitudes towards noise, hearing loss and hearing protection,
  • hearing protection, hearing care programs and (inter)national criteria
  • development and implementation of mHealth smartphone applications;
  • specific populations (diabetes, HIV, vestibular schwannoma).

Tinnitus and/or hyperacusis

This research domain aims to gain more insight into the complex mechanisms of tinnitus and hyperacusis. This involves collecting medical and audiological data, complemented by EEG, fMRI and fNIRS experiments. Comorbidities such as chronic pain and cognitive impact are important sub-items in this study.

Auditory cognitive functioning

In addition to the peripheral and central auditory system, central cognitive processes contribute to hearing and speech understanding. The aim is therefore to unravel auditory-cognitive functioning in different populations (normal hearing, hearing impaired, hearing aid users), using a comprehensive cognitive test battery, a behavioural listening effort test, EEG and fNIRS.

Vestibulum research line

Vestibular function in adults

This research focuses on the evaluation and therapeutic approach to peripheral vestibular function in patients with Parkinson's disease, diabetes mellitus, Turner's syndrome, as well as the impact of peripheral vestibular dysfunction on both motor and cognitive functioning. It mainly uses peripheral vestibular (video head impulse test (vHIT), cervical/ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (c/oVEMP), caloric test, and rotation testing), cognitive and motor function tests.

Vestibular function in children

Given the impact of vestibular dysfunction on children's (motor) development, this line of research, using the above-mentioned functional tests, focuses mainly on the implementation of early childhood vestibular screening (, research on the impact of vestibular dysfunction on motor and cognitive development, and on the elaboration of vestibular rehabilitation. This within numerous paediatric target populations: typically developing children, children with hearing loss, with congenital cytomegalovirus infection, a cochlear implant, Turner's syndrome, 22q11 deletion syndrome, or a developmental disorder (primarily ADHD, ASD and/or DCD).


Tenured Academic Staff and Visiting Professors

Prof. dr. Hannah Keppler

Prof. dr. Leen Maes

Prof. dr. Bart Vinck


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Katrien Kestens

Predoctoral Researchers

Drs. Nele De Poortere

Drs. Pauline Devolder

Drs. Emmely Van Acker

Drs. Louise Van Goylen

Drs. Ruth Van Hecke