10 February 2021

With this photograph, Koen Verheijden has won De Zilveren Camera in the category Nature and Science. The picture was taken for the Dutch newspaper Trouw and shows the mobile lab of the Radboudumc and Donders researcher Martijn Agterberg. In the lab, he studies bumblebees, in order to learn and provide information to improve hearing aids for humans.

The neuroscientist received a grant for his research in 2019. Together with a hearing doctor, a beekeeper, a biologist and an audiologist, he uses high-speed, high-resolution cameras to follow in detail the movement and responses of honeybees and bumblebees on artificial sound stimuli. They expect that bees are doing something very special with their ears to focus on sound. If that is the case, the team will prepare a research plan on how to implement this mechanism in the sound processing of hearing implants.

Trouw wrote about his research last year. By then, research with human participants was complicated due to the corona virus. Agterberg brought his mobile lab to his home, to continue the part of his research that focuses on bumblebees. Trouw hired Koen Verheijden to show the lab with a photograph.

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