The Sound Field Laboratory (SFL) core provides infrastructure support for a wide range of acoustics and psychoacoustlcs studies supported by NIH/NIDCD and other funding agencies. The SFL was established through a joint effort by the Boston University Hearing Research Center and the College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at BU to provide a unique interdisciplinary acoustics research facility that would serve the auditory research community within Boston and surrounding areas. The SFL consists of several components: initially, a large sound-attenuating lAC booth was purchased and modified to permit varying degrees of sound reverberation to be produced in a controlled manner ranging from highly reflective to nearanechoic. In addition to the physical facility, technical expertise was provided to assist a range of users in designing and implementing studies in this unique space. Through support provided by past core center awards, the capabilities ofthe SFL have increased significantly and encompass a wide range of services to users both on site and off site including acoustic recording and analysis, software and hardware development and a variety of other scientific support services. As indicated by the record ofthe accomplishments of the various users, the SFL has served the research needs of many user groups both at Boston University and in the region generally and include several academic and other institutions. The purpose of the facility to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary research continues and has met with considerable success during the past periods of support. The overall goal is to provide support for a wide range of research projects in an efficient and cost effective manner by providing unique facilities, equipment and support services that avoid costly duplication of research capabilities and allow projects to be undertaken that would be too costly to conduct or literally would not be possible if the SFL support were not available.
The Sound Field Laboratory at Boston University is a one-of-a-kind hearing research facility that draws research groups from the area to take advantage of its unique capabilities and staff expertise. It is designed to address such important issues as the effect of hearing loss and other factors on the ability to understand one talker in the presence of distracting talkers. The fact that it is shared makes it highly cost effective.
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