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.
Hearing and Aging Lab
- Peter Torre, III, Director
The Hearing and Aging Laboratory is located at CC-Alvarado. It serves as the primary research space for Dr. Peter Torre. The research focus of this lab is to determine how cochlear (i.e., inner ear) function and auditory neural function change in older adults. Understanding how these functional changes occur with increasing age has a direct implication on how hearing loss intervention strategies are utilized. Cochlear function is measured using distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and neural function is measured using auditory brainstem responses (ABRs). Additionally, field study research includes age-related changes in hearing sensitivity in older Latino-American adults. The prevalence of hearing loss in these older adults can then be compared to other racial groups and further analyses can possibly determine how risk factors for hearing loss vary across racial groups.
Diagnostic Audiology Lab
- Steven Kramer, Director