This research program addresses basic questions related to perception of auditory information and recognition of speech by individuals with normal hearing and cochlear hearing loss. Experiments are designed to test hypotheses within the framework of the active process of the cochlea, which is responsible for many fundamental properties of audition. It is well established that declines in cochlear function result in higher detection thresholds and broader tuning at lower levels. However, beyond these general effects, a thorough understanding of the negative consequences of a reduced active mechanism is lacking due to the limited knowledge of nonlinear effects both for complex sounds such as speech, and also for individuals with mild-to-moderate cochlear hearing loss. A comprehensive series of experiments is planned within two broad aims to address key questions concerning the effects of basilar-membrane nonlinearities on auditory perception and recognition of speech. Each of these aims is driven by hypotheses that examine auditory function for simple and complex sounds within a framework that provides physiologically-appropriate rationales for both the normal and impaired auditory system.
Aim 1 assesses temporal masking, growth of masking, and suppression for tonal and speech signals over a wide range of levels, and changes in tuning with increasing level, to test the hypothesis that nonlinearities in the basilar-membrane response underlie improvements in speech recognition in noise at moderate levels, declines at higher levels, and diminished performance where gain is reduced by cochlear impairment.
Aim 2 measures detection and recognition of sounds with fluctuating envelopes and masking of tones and speech in fluctuating maskers, to test the hypothesis that nonlinearities in the basilar-membrane response underlie changes in the temporal envelopes of speech and noises with increasing level, the benefit derived from masker fluctuations, and diminished performance where gain is reduced by cochlear impairment. A long-term goal is to discover the bases and means for reducing the detrimental effects of cochlear hearing loss on the perception of speech. A better understanding of these effects is essential if individuals with cochlear hearing loss are to achieve maximum benefit from amplified speech in adverse listening conditions.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC000184-29
Application #
7845005
Study Section
Auditory System Study Section (AUD)
Program Officer
Donahue, Amy
Project Start
1981-12-01
Project End
2012-06-30
Budget Start
2010-07-01
Budget End
2012-06-30
Support Year
29
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$294,364
Indirect Cost
Name
Medical University of South Carolina
Department
Otolaryngology
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
183710748
City
Charleston
State
SC
Country
United States
Zip Code
29425
Eckert, Mark A; Matthews, Lois J; Dubno, Judy R (2017) Self-Assessed Hearing Handicap in Older Adults With Poorer-Than-Predicted Speech Recognition in Noise. J Speech Lang Hear Res 60:251-262
Fogerty, Daniel; Bologna, William J; Ahlstrom, Jayne B et al. (2017) Simultaneous and forward masking of vowels and stop consonants: Effects of age, hearing loss, and spectral shaping. J Acoust Soc Am 141:1133
McRackan, Theodore R; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Clinkscales, William B et al. (2016) Clinical Implications of Word Recognition Differences in Earphone and Aided Conditions. Otol Neurotol 37:1475-1481
Jennings, Skyler G; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Dubno, Judy R (2016) Effects of age and hearing loss on overshoot. J Acoust Soc Am 140:2481
Vaden Jr, Kenneth I; Kuchinsky, Stefanie E; Ahlstrom, Jayne B et al. (2016) Cingulo-Opercular Function During Word Recognition in Noise for Older Adults with Hearing Loss. Exp Aging Res 42:67-82
Kuchinsky, Stefanie E; Vaden Jr, Kenneth I; Ahlstrom, Jayne B et al. (2016) Task-Related Vigilance During Word Recognition in Noise for Older Adults with Hearing Loss. Exp Aging Res 42:50-66
Svec, Adam; Dubno, Judy R; Nelson, Peggy B (2016) Inherent envelope fluctuations in forward maskers: Effects of masker-probe delay for listeners with normal and impaired hearing. J Acoust Soc Am 139:1195-203
Chintanpalli, Ananthakrishna; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Dubno, Judy R (2016) Effects of age and hearing loss on concurrent vowel identification. J Acoust Soc Am 140:4142
Fogerty, Daniel; Ahlstrom, Jayne B; Bologna, William J et al. (2016) Glimpsing Speech in the Presence of Nonsimultaneous Amplitude Modulations From a Competing Talker: Effect of Modulation Rate, Age, and Hearing Loss. J Speech Lang Hear Res 59:1198-1207
Svec, Adam; Dubno, Judy R; Nelson, Peggy B (2015) Effects of inherent envelope fluctuations in forward maskers for listeners with normal and impaired hearing. J Acoust Soc Am 137:1336-43

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