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Audibility, Perception and Cognition Laboratory​

Research aims to describe how amplification, language and cognition support speech recognition in children who are hard of hearing.

  • ​​​​Overview

    Our research aims to describe how amplification, language and cognition support speech recognition in children who are hard of hearing in effort to maximize outcomes for children wearing hearing aids.

    The goal of our research is to better understand how hearing loss impacts the ability of children to listen in classrooms, at home and in social environments where important communication takes place.

     

    Hearing aids worn by children are often designed to be used by adults or without consideration for a child’s developing auditory skills. The ability to temporarily store and process incoming auditory information, known as working memory, and knowledge about language can help to support listening in environments where the speech signal is degraded by noise and reverberation.

  • Facilities

    Our lab facilities include multiple double-walled, sound-treated audiometric ​test booths. These booths are equipped with audiometers, immittance equipment and hearing aid verification systems. Listening environments are simulated through multiple speaker arrays controlled via MATLAB and Max custom software programs.

  • For Scientists

    Speech recognition in children who are hard of hearing is complex and is influenced by a wide range of factors. Our research is based in a theoretical framework of cumulative auditory exposure, where early amplification, hearing aid use and language exposure provide the basis for auditory development in children and are proposed to influence the linguistic and cognitive skills that support listening and learning at school-age. We are examining these factors using a combination of longitudinal and cross-sectional research studies that could lead to improved amplification or habilitation strategies that could maximize auditory development in children.

  • Staff

    Ryan W. McCreery, Ph.D. – Director

    The lab is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and private donations.

    Merry Spratford, AuD. – Research audiologist in charge of laboratory operations.

    Boys Town Hospital Collaborators:

    External Collaborators: