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Auditory Signal Processing Laboratory

​​​​​​​​Overview

The Auditory Signal Processing (ASP) Lab has two primary goals. We would like to understand suprathreshold hearing deficits and their relation to hidden hearing loss. Hidden hearing loss is a form of hearing loss that cannot be diagnosed using current clinical procedures. Hidden hearing loss causes suprathreshold hearing deficits that include difficulty understanding speech in a background of noise. We are interested in developing methods to identify hidden hearing loss in humans. Our current experiments focus on determining the relationship between suprathreshold measures that are affected by hidden hearing loss and physiological measures of auditory function.

The ASP Lab also aims to provide scientific basis for the need to restore cochlear processes that are diminished when hearing loss occurs, and to develop innovative signal-processing algorithms for hearing prostheses to restore these processes in individuals with hearing loss. Restoring these cochlear processes can improve speech perception, increase user satisfaction, and promote use of hearing technology, such as hearing aids. In order to provide the scientific basis needed, we first need to understand how the auditory system processes sound information. To this end, part of our research program focuses on use of noninvasive techniques to gain a better understanding of cochlear nonlinearity in humans with normal hearing and with hearing loss.

Facilities

This laboratory has a clinical audiometer used to determine threshold and a tympanometer used to assess middle-ear status. The laboratory includes two sound-treated booths and PCs for​ data-collection. The lab is also equipped with specialized hardware used for the measurement of electrophysiological responses, otoacoustic emissions, acoustic reflectance, speech perception and other psychoacoustic procedures. Custom-designed software for these measurements is installed in the PCs.

Staff

The Auditory Signal Processing Lab is directed by Daniel M. Rasetshwane, Ph.D., and is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute for Deafness and Communication Disorders (NIDCD) – grant number R03 DC013982. Judy G. Kopun, M.A., a research audiologist, is in charge of laboratory operations. The lab benefits from internal collaborations with Stephen Neely​, D.Sc., Michael Gorga Ph.D.​, Walt Jesteadt, Ph.D.​, ​Marc Brennan, Ph.D., and ​Ryan McCreery, Ph.D. The lab be​nefits from external collaborations with Odile Clavier, Ph.D. at ​Crear​​e Inc.

For Families - What We Do and Why We Do It

The ASP Lab is concerned with understanding how the human ear process sound information. We then use this knowledge to identify hearing loss early and develop interventions for individuals with hearing loss.

Specific Areas of Research

  1. Understand suprathreshold hearing deficits and their relation to hidden hearing loss
  2. Design and evaluation of audio signal-processing algorithms for hearing prostheses
  3. Use of loudness as a suprathreshold measure of cochlear function
  4. Furthering our understanding of reflectance and development of measurement techniques
  5. Impact of equipment and stimulus calibration on ear-canal measurements
  6. The origin and level-dependence of cochlear delays in human

If you are interested in participating in a study, please contact Judy Kopun at (402) 498-6373​ or Judy.Kopun@boystown.org