Current Studies

 

​​Read about our current studies below. If you are interested in participating in a study, email HADL@boystown.org or visit this page to learn more about participation or sign up to participate.

​​​Susceptibility to and Release from Masking in Infancy and Childhood

Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH Grant Number R01 DC011038; PI: Lori Leibold)

A child's environment often contains multiple sourc​es of competing sounds which may create difficult listening situations. These situations can be difficult both for children with normal hearing as well as children with hearing loss. The purpose of this group of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health is to better understand the factors responsible for the development of hearing in complex environments, such as noise and in the presence of other talkers. Additionally, this group of studies is designed to better understand the cues that children with normal hearing sensitivity and those with hearing loss use to understand speech in complex situations.

We are actively recruiting children and adults with normal hearing and with hearing loss who wear bilateral hearing aids. Sign up to participate.

Project INCLUDE

Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH Grant Number R01 DC011038-10S1; PI: Lori Leibold)

Across the lifespan​, individuals with Down syndrome are more likely to have a hearing loss of all types than individuals without Down syndrome. In addition, most individuals with Down syndrome also experience frequent episodes of middle ear fluid or infection that can result in temporary or ongoing hearing loss. This is important because frequent middle ear problems can have a lasting impact on listening in noise and can cause permanent hearing loss, especially for high frequency sounds. This group of studies is designed to learn about the ability of children with Down syndrome to understand speech in background noise and the cues that can be used to improve listening in complex listening situations.

We are currently recruiting children ages 5-17 with Down syndrome. Sign up here.

Factors Influencing the Behavioral Assessment of Hearing During Infancy and Childhood

Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH Grant Number R01 DC014460; PI: Emily Buss)

Behavioral data represent the gold standard for assessing hearing, but they are affected by many different factors (e.g., sensorineural encoding of sound, central/cognitive factors). At present we have very few techniques for differentiating these factors i​n infants and young children, which in turn undermines our ability to identify sensorineural hearing loss or to evaluate the maturation of central auditory processing. Basic and applied experiments in this grant funded by the National Institutes of Health aim to differentiate the fact​ors responsible for immature auditory behavior, and to develop novel methods for the evaluation of particular functional hearing abilities.

We are currently recruiting toddlers with normal hearing for these projects. Sign up to participate.

A Test of Children's English/Spanish Speech Perception in Noise or Speech Maskers

Funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIH Grant Number R01 DC015056; PI: Lori Leibold and Emily Buss)

Speech perception testing is crucial when assessing a child's hearing. Many children are raised in Spanish-speaking households in the United States. Due to a lack of language-appropriate test materials in the audiology clinic, however, speech perception testing is often performed in English or omitted entirely. As a result, children's candidacy for hearing devices and language intervention can be affected. Furthermore, most speech perception testing is performed in quiet or in the presence of noise, despite the complex listening environments children face in their everyday lives. This series of studies, funded by the National Institutes of Health, aims to develop a clinical speech perception test which allows audiologists to appropriately evaluate Spanish- and English- speaking children in both noise and two-talker backgrounds.

We are currently recruiting bilingual Spanish/English-speaking children ages 4 – 17 who are hard of hearing for these projects. Sign up to participate.

​Funding:

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders