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.

Community Engaged Research for Communication Access (CERCA)

Laura Coco, Director

The CERCA Lab is focused on improving access to, and equity of, hearing healthcare services. We use a community-based participatory research approach, which involves partnering with community members in the research process. Our research takes place both in and outside of the lab, and it is multidisciplinary, which means we collaborate with researchers, clinicians, and community members who have different areas of expertise. The research in the CERCA Lab involves primarily three areas of inquiry (1) identifying disparities and gaps in hearing care; (2) developing, evaluating, and disseminating hearing healthcare service delivery models that improve access to care for people with hearing loss; and (3) developing interventions that minimize the risk of developing hearing loss for vulnerable populations, with the overall goal of improving population and individual communication health.

Enabling Auditory Rehabilitation Lab (EAR Lab)

Jill Preminger, Director

We use quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the auditory rehabilitation experience of adults with hearing impairment and their family members, to develop methods to promote the uptake of audiology services, and to measure the outcomes of these services. Current projects include the development and evaluation of the iManage (my hearing) program, a decision coaching guide to promote audiology care, an exploration of the hearing screening experience, and the development of scale to measure hearing loss related social support.

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.

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SDSU Speech Language and Hearing

SDSU Speech Language and Hearing
5245 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-1518