San Diego State University

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Audiology & Hearing Sciences Laboratories


Auditory Physiology and Psychoacoustics Lab

  • Laura Dreisbach, Director

The Auditory Physiology and Psychoacoustics Laboratory is located in the SLH Building on the main campus. It serves as the primary teaching and research laboratory for Dr. Laura Dreisbach. The research focus of the lab is to characterize otoacoustic emissions, sounds generated by the healthy ear, using high-frequency stimuli. By characterizing high-frequency otoacoustic emissions we are hoping to develop an objective test to monitor high-frequency hearing in humans during medical treatments that are known to damage hearing. Specifically, we are studying distortion-product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and stimulus frequency otoacoustic emissions (SFOAEs). Additionally, we want to develop an objective test of frequency selectivity. Frequency selectivity represents a basic mechanism of inner ear processing and is thought to be an important factor in speech understanding. There may be a link between frequency selectivity measured behaviorally (psychoacoustically) and inner ear tuning measured with emissions. Using emissions and behavioral measures to examine frequency selectivity will help us determine if we can develop an objective test of frequency selectivity to be used in hearing clinics. This innovative objective test of frequency selectivity may aid in the determination of “good” hearing aid candidates.


Auditory Research Lab

  • Carol Mackersie, Director

The Auditory Research Lab is located in CC-Alvarado. It serves as the primary research and teaching laboratory for Dr. Mackersie. The lab is equipped with Tucker-Davis hardware and software packages for psychoacoustic and speech perception testing, an audiometer and a hearing aid analyzer. The lab is also equipped with additional hardware for digital recording and software for testing, signal processing, speech analysis, and statistical analysis. Lab activities encompass three research areas pertaining to individuals with permanent hearing loss: 1) speech perception abilities in complex listening environments 2) amplification technology for telephone use and 3) hearing aid evaluation and outcome methods.


Recreational Noise Exposure and Auditory Function Lab

  • Peter Torre, III, Director

The Recreational Noise Exposure and Auditory Function Lab is located in the SLHS building on the SDSU main campus. The primary research focus within the lab is to evaluate how recreational noise exposure, specifically personal music system use with earphones, affects the inner ear in young adults. One goal of the lab is to determine if young adults are more at risk for earlier onset hearing loss because of recreational noise exposure. Responses from the inner ear are measured using distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and a sensitive probe microphone system allows for the measurement of the specific listening level, in decibels, within the ear canal. By combining these data, an examination of how preferred listening levels affects DPOAEs and if young adults are listening to music at dangerous levels.