Child Auditory Technology Laboratory


​​​​The Child Auditory Technology Lab (CAT Lab) studies how children who use auditory tec​hnology, like hearing aids and/or cochlear implants, hear sound and develop communication skills.

What is the problem?

Children who are deaf/hard of hearing (DHH) who use auditory technology often develop communication differently from one another, but we don’t always understand why these differences occur.

What are we trying to learn and solve?

Our research focuses on developmental outcomes of children with hearing loss across the continuum of auditory technologies (hearing aids and/or cochlear implants). If we can better identify what makes some kids thrive and others face communication challenges through research, we can make better recommendations in our audiology and speech-language pathology clinics to support this population and their families.

What is the purpose of the lab?

Research in the CAT Lab has two main goals: 1) Understand differences in auditory and language development between hearing aid and cochlear implant users to better individualize device candidacy for children with hearing loss and 2) understand the effects of fitting and management of pediatric auditory technology on outcomes in children with hearing loss. This work aims to better individualize audiologic assessment, device candidacy and verification and clinical counseling for children with hearing loss and their families.

What do we really do?

In our lab, children participate in activities similar to those done in audiology or speech-language pathology clinics like a hearing test, speech recognition tasks, hearing aid and cochlear implant measurements and language assessments. This means that children will listen to sounds, words and sentences and answer questions about what they hear. They may also push a button or point to pictures when sounds play. Parents also participate by answering questions about their child.