University of Nottingham Malaysia
School of Psychology

Image of Deborah Hall

Deborah Hall

Professor of Hearing Sciences, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences



Deborah graduated from Brunel University in Psychology and completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology with Professors Glyn Humphreys and Jane Riddoch at Birmingham University in 1996. She moved to the Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research in Nottingham to develop auditory functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), first 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. Deborah has been a member of staff at the University of Nottingham since 2012, and for six years led a prestigious translational hearing research centre funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Deborah Hall currently has an 80/20 split contract at the University of Nottingham. For most of her time she is based at the Malaysia campus as Vice-Provost (Research and Knowledge Exchange), where she is seconded until June 2022. The remaining time is spent supporting her "Measures for clinical trials" research team in the UK based at the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre. This Centre is a partnership between the University of Nottingham and the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust where Deborah holds an honorary contract.

Deborah was awarded the British Society of Audiology Thomas Simm Littler prize in 2010 for her services to audiology; and the Tonndorf lecture prize in 2017 for her services to tinnitus research. She was Chair of the 'Outcome measurement' working group of TINNET (2014-2018) ( and is currently a partner for two Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus (ESIT) Research (2017-2021); and the Tinnitus Assessment Causes Treatments (TIN-ACT) (2018-2022).

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 BRC, her primary research goals are to develop a good evidence base for selecting outcome instruments for assessing treatment-related change for complex multi-dimensional conditions including hearing loss and tinnitus. Additional interests include the mechanisms of tinnitus and sensorineural plasticity after hearing loss, as well as the 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.

I currently have no formal teaching obligations, but I supervise BMedSci students, and PhD students, and I am happy to host clinical and non-clinical internships.

Research Summary

My overall aim is to create new knowledge about how to determine whether treatments for common hearing-related conditions have worked or not. I'm focusing on tinnitus; one of the most common… read more

Recent Publications

Current Research

  • My overall aim is to create new knowledge about how to determine whether treatments for common hearing-related conditions have worked or not.
  • I'm focusing on tinnitus; one of the most common hearing-related conditions.
  • This work separates out what it is important to measure ("domain/s") from how to measure it ("instrument/s").
  • It also involves evidence synthesis using systematic review methods.

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
  • RESET2 trial (
  • QUIET1 trial (

Future Research

  • Building a consensus on outcome measures for interventions that seek to restore (pseudo) binaural hearing in adults with unilateral severe-to-profound hearing loss
  • Assessing the feasibility of extending generic preferenced-based measures of health-related quality of life to increase their sensitivity to interventions for hearing

School of Psychology

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8000
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8018

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