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Deborah Hall

Professor of Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Deborah Hall is the Director of the NIHR Nottingham Hearing Biomedical Research Unit where she leads research projects on tinnitus and translational neuroscience. Deborah graduated from Brunel University in Psychology and completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology with Profs Glyn Humphreys and Jane Riddoch at Birmingham University in 1996. She moved to the MRC Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham to develop auditory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), firstly as a postdoctoral research fellow, then as a programme leader. In 2009, she left to establish cognitive neuroscience teaching and research in the Division of Psychology at Nottingham Trent University, whilst also leading the tinnitus research group at the BRU. Following the successful refunding of the BRU, she recently became its Director in April 2012, joining the School of Clinical Sciences at the University of Nottingham as Professor of Hearing Sciences.

Deborah was awarded the British Society of Audiology Thomas Simm Littler prize in 2010 for her services to audiology. She is currently Section Editor of the international journal 'Hearing Research'.

Expertise Summary

Deborah has been working in the field of auditory functional magnetic resonance imaging for over 15 years. Over the years, her research has introduced novel imaging strategies to circumvent the problem of the background scanner noise and has used these tools to examine acoustical and cognitive aspects of normal and impaired hearing, including pitch perception and auditory selective attention. Within the BRU, her primary research goals are to understand the mechanisms of tinnitus and sensorineural plasticity after hearing loss, as well as to develop an evidence-base for effective tinnitus management strategies. This applied work brings together knowledge of the central auditory system and psychological concepts to develop a more holistic understanding of tinnitus.

Teaching Summary

I gained my Postgraduate certificate in Higher Education in 2011 with a distinction. In the past 3 years, I have taught research methods, cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience modules.

I currently have no formal teaching obligations.

Research Summary

pitch processing in human auditory cortex epidemiology of tinnitus neural mechanisms of tinnitus and the role of emotion auditory perceptual training for people with… read more

Recent Publications

  • ROBERT PIERZYCKI, ADAM MCNAMARA, DEREK J HOARE and DEBORAH A HALL, 2016. Whole scalp resting state EEG of oscillatory brain activity shows no parametric relationship with psychoacoustic and psychosocial assessment of tinnitus: A repeated measures study Hearing Research. 331, 101-108
  • HANDSCOMB L, HALL DA, SHORTER GW and HOARE DJ, 2016. Online data collection to evaluate a theoretical cognitive model of tinnitus The American Journal of Audiology. (In Press.)
  • HAIDER H, FACKRELL K, KENNEDY V and HALL DA, 2016. Dimensions of tinnitus-related complaints reported by patients and their significant others: protocol for a systematic review BMJ Open. (In Press.)

Current Research

  • pitch processing in human auditory cortex
  • epidemiology of tinnitus
  • neural mechanisms of tinnitus and the role of emotion
  • auditory perceptual training for people with tinnitus
  • evidence-base for tinnitus management strategies
  • randomised controlled trial of the Acoustic CR Neuromodulation device (

Past Research

  • coding of basic auditory features in the human auditory cortex
  • neural basis of speechreading
  • neural basis of selective attention in human auditory cortex
  • referral pathways for tinnitus management in clinical practice
  • systematic reviews

Future Research

  • Cochrane review (tinnitus)

School of Medicine

University of Nottingham
Medical School
Nottingham, NG7 2UH

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