Hearing & Amplification Research Lab

 

Overview

The overall goal of our research program is to examine performance differences between children with normal hearing and children with hearing loss in order to develop appropriate remediation techniques that will narrow the performance gap between these two groups of children.

Facilities

The laboratory is equipped with computers for PC-based hearing assessments, data acquisition, and analysis. A large double-walled sound-attenuated booth suite is located within the laboratory. Custom software has been developed to facilitate data collection as well as the acoustic analyses of speech productions. A state-of-the art hearing-aid analysis/probe-microphone system (Audioscan Verifit) is available to quantify real-ear gain as a function of frequency on an individual basis.

Staff

Patricia G. Stelmachowicz, Ph.D. is a research audiologist whose program of study has focused on the performance differences between children with normal hearing and those with hearing loss for a wide variety of measures.

Collaborators

Judy Kopun M.A., Dawna Lewis, Ph.D., Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Mary Pat Moeller, Ph.D., Kanae Nishi, Ph.D.Marc Brennan, Ph.D.

Summary of Research Program

For Clinicians and Scientists

Current studies focus on the benefits of hearing aids with an extended bandwidth in comparison to devices that utilize frequency-lowering. We anticipate that the benefit derived from these two approaches will vary as a function of degree and configuration of hearing loss. We also are examining the ability of children with hearing loss to perceive speech in challenging acoustic environments (i.e., listening in fluctuating noise and the ability to segregate speech in a 2-talker situation). In these studies, we also will examine the effects of both fast- and slow-acting amplitude compression on the above-noted tasks. A final goal is to examine the relative contribution of acoustic-phonetic and language-based cues to speech perception for both groups of children. For all studies, data will be obtained across a wide age range in order to examine developmental changes in both groups.

For Families

The long-term goal of these studies is to identify and quantify performance differences between children with and without hearing loss for a wide range of auditory tasks. Such information may provide insight into the development of strategies to improve speech, language, and psychosocial outcomes for children with hearing loss.

SHARP

SHARP is a PC-based computer program designed to assist clinicians with the process of selecting and fitting hearing aids to children and to provide information to parents, educators, and therapists on signal audibility under typical listening conditions (e.g. classroom teacher at different listening distances). Threshold data and a variety of electroacoustic parameters are entered (including frequency lowering!) or imported from the Verifit into the program. A series of plots are produced depicting the amplified signal in relation to auditory threshold and the saturated hearing-aid output across a variety of listening conditions. For each listening situation, a Speech Intelligibility Index value is given.

For additional information please send an email to AudioSharp@boystown.org or visit http://audres.org/rc/sharp/ to download the newest version of SHARP for free.

Professional Resources: Publication Lists

Each link below opens a new window in PubMed1 in which the author’s biomedical publications are listed.

1PubMed is a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that includes citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s. PubMed includes links to full text articles and other related resources.