Auditory Signal Processing Laboratory


​The Auditory Signal Processing (ASP) Lab has two primary goals:​

  • Understanding suprathreshold hearing deficits and their relation to hidden hearing loss
  • Developing methods to identify hidden hearing loss in humans

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. 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.


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.


The Auditory Signal Processing Lab is directed by Stephen Neely, D.Sc.​​, 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. and Sara Fultz, Au.D., research audiologists, are in charge of laboratory operations. The lab benefits from internal collaborations with​ Michael Gorga, Ph.D.​,  Walt Jesteadt, Ph.D.​ and  ​Ryan McCreery, Ph.D. The lab be​nefits from external collaborations with Marc Brennan, Ph.D. at University of Nebraska, Lincoln and Odile Clavier, Ph.D. at ​Crear​​e Inc.