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Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory

We study auditory and speech perception by children and adults with normal hearing, cochlear implants and hearing aids.

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Research

    The long-term objective of our lab is to understand basic mechanisms underlying auditory and speech perception by individuals with normal hearing, hearing loss, and cochlear implants. Our experiments include psychophysical measures of listeners' sensitivity to subtle differences between sounds, measures of listeners' sensitivity to speech intonation and lexical tone recognition, and the processing of degraded speech by the normal and impaired auditory system.

    Publications
    Full Publication List of the APPLab

    FACILITIES

    The APPL area includes one large sound booth for conducting listening tests in quiet environments, an adjacent room from which sounds delivered to the booth are controlled and experiments monitored, and an outside area in which experiments involving direct electrical stimulation of the implanted device are conducted. Data are also collected off-site in our collaborators' labs in Taiwan and at UCSF (Dr. Yung-Song Lin's lab, Chi-Mei Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan and Dr. Charles Limb's lab at UCSF).

    FUNDING

    Our work is currently funded by NIH (grant no. R01 DC014233), a subcontract from grant no. R01 HD081127 to Dr. Rochelle Newman at the University of Maryland, and a grant from the American Hearing Research Foundation. ​

  • Research Participants

    Adult Study

    The goal of the study is to understand the processing of signals transmitted by the cochlear implant by the brain. Participants will be asked to listen to a variety of sounds and make judgments about them – for instance, how loud they sound, or which of two sounds is louder, or which of three sounds is different. The experiments also involve listening to brief tones, beeps or speech samples. You would identify subtle differences between sounds, or compare the loudness or pitch of different sounds. Some participants may read aloud a few simple sentences and be audio taped, but this is not mandatory.

    Adult participants will receive $15/hour for their participation in each 3-hour session. Compensation will be available for travel for individuals with cochlear implants and hearing loss. Adult cochlear implant recipients w​ho travel a long distance to participate in the study, in addition to travel expenses, we are also happy to set up hotel accommodations if you choose to stay in Omaha for the study. In this case, we usually ask for 3-4 days of participation and study sessions would be 6 hours longs with breaks as needed.

    If all of the following traits describe you, you may be eligible for this study:

    • 19 to 75 years of age
    • You have normal hearing, a cochlear implant, or wear hearing aids in both ears.

    For more information, please call us at 402-452-5092 or 402-452-5079 or email Aditya.Kulkarni@boystown.org or Julie.christensen@boystown.org.

    Child Study

    The study will investigate children's ability to discriminate voice pitch information through the cochlear implant. The experiments involve listening to brief tones, beeps or speech samples. Children may be asked to listen to sentences and judge the speaker’s emotion, or indicate whether a word or a sentence they heard sounded like a question (asking) or a statement (telling). In other tests, they will be asked to indicate which of three sounds was different in pitch. Some child participants may be asked to read aloud a few simple sentences and be audio taped, but this is not mandatory.

    Child participants will receive $15/hour for their participation in each 2-hour session. Compensation will be available for travel for participants with cochlear implants and hearing loss. For families who travel a long distance to participate in the study, in addition to travel expenses, we are also happy to set up hotel accommodations if you choose to stay in Omaha for the study. In this case, we usually ask for 3-4 days of participation across different labs at BTNRH.

    If all of the following traits describe you, you may be eligible for this study:

    • 4 to 18 years of age​
    • Normal hearing, a cochlear implant, or wear hearing aids in both ears.

    For more information, please call 402-452-5079 or 402-452-5092 or email Julie.christensen@boystown.org or Aditya.Kulkarni@boystown.org.

  • P​eople

    Consultants and Collaborators