Human Auditory Development Laboratory


We study how the ability to hear and understand sounds in the presence of competing background sounds develops. We are particularly interested in understanding how infants and children learn to hear and process target sounds such as speech in noisy environments.

Infants and children learn about speech and other important sounds in natural environment​s in which multiple sources of competing sounds are often present. Our studies aim to fill the gaps in the understanding of how well children hear in noisy environments and the specific challenges faced by children who are hard of hearing and children with motor or intellectual disability.

We use behavioral measures similar to those used in the audiology clinic to assess hearing and speech perception. Some of our studies are focused on collecting data in children with normal hearing, while others are aimed at understanding how factors such as childhood hearing loss or Down Syndrome influence the development of complex auditory skills. The results of our studies will expand our understanding of hearing development, help us improve the way sounds are delivered to infants and children who are hard of hearing, and create innovative ways to test children of all abilities more effectively in the audiology clinic.

Our lab is located on the 3rd floor of the Boys Town National Research Hospital – Downtown. We collaborate with faculty scientists, audiologists, and trainees at Boys Town National Research Hospital. We also work closely with researchers at other U.S. institutions, such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Case Western Reserve University.