UCL Ear Institute

Mr Torsten Marquardt

Mr Torsten Marquardt

Senior Lecturer

The Ear Institute

Faculty of Brain Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Apr 2003

Research summary

Most of my work is carried out in the Ear Institute’s Human Auditory Function Lab, (with David Kemp and Bradford Backus). The lab has a range of state of the art facilities including sound-proof chambers and an anechoic room where we can conduct audiological experiments, measuring otoacoustic emissions and running human subjects in psychoacoustic tests. I have also links with the Neural Systems lab, since I used to work in David McAlpine’s group, developing models of spatial hearing. These models are largely aimed at answering the following questions:

How do we perceive the location of a sound

How does the brain perform the surpression of disturbing noise sources which are spatially separated from the sound source we are trying to attend to (the "Cocktail Party Effect"). 

Teaching summary

In 2005, I started teching on the module “Auditory Biophysics and Electroacoustics” for our MSc course in Audiological Science. In 2007, I took over the coordination of this module, which is since jointly taught to our BSc Audiology students (AUDL1002) and MSc students in in Audiological Science (AUDLG08). This required a thorough restructuring of the syllabus. Its main focus is now on Signals & Systems and an Introduction to Acoustics with application to ear canal resonance, middle ear impedance, and cochlear mechanics. I supervise BSc and MSc projects related to my research. 


University College London
PhD, Cognitive Science | 2011
Technische Universitat Berlin
Dipl. Ing., Electronic Engineering and Computer Science | 1998


Originally, I wanted to become a sound engineer. It was in this way that I became interested in the perception of sound, and the physiology of the cochlea and auditory pathways. I got a student job in an ENT research department, and that is where it all started.
I see myself as an engineer investigating brain mechanisms responsible for hearing, using both physiological and psychophysical research methods.
The most interesting aspect of my work is trying to link physiology with the perception of sound.