With the widespread success of universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) programs, it is now possible to identify hearing loss at birth and initiate amplification in early infancy. The ability to identify hearing loss at birth, however, has made the gaps in our knowledge more obvious. The overall goal of the proposed studies is to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced and the unique needs of young children with sensorineural hearing loss.
Aim 1 will assess the relative benefit of an extended bandwidth hearing-aid vs. a frequency-lowering scheme to improve the audibility of high-frequency speech components for children with hearing loss. It is hypothesized that the benefit derived from these two approaches will vary as a function of degree and configuration of hearing loss. Results will provide new information regarding optimum amplification strategies for individuals with varying degrees and configurations of hearing loss.
Aim 2 will examine the ability of children with and without hearing loss to perceive speech in adverse listening environments. It is hypothesized that performance will be poorer for the hearing-impaired group and that fast-acting compression will degrade performance relative to slow- acting compression. Results will provide a better understanding of children's ability to perform complex listening tasks in noise and how amplification strategies support or fail to support their perceptual strategies.
Aim 3 will examine the relative contribution of acoustic-phonetic, phonotactic and language- based cues to speech perception for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired children. It is hypothesized that the patterns of reliance on language-based cues (e.g., filling in unheard acoustic-phonetic details by relying on the language context) will differ between the normal-hearing and hearing-impaired children and that developmental changes in the use of these cues will occur more rapidly in the normal-hearing group. Results will increase our understanding of individual differences in the use of perceptual strategies, the extent to which these two groups rely on language-based processes in difficult listening situations, and how these divergent strategies influence speech perception.

Public Health Relevance

The overall goal of the proposed studies is to gain a better understanding of the challenges faced by young children with hearing loss and to determine how well current hearing aids support their listening needs. Results will provide new information regarding optimum hearing-aid strategies for individuals and may lead to improvements in hearing-aid signal processing and the identification of areas where auditory training may be needed.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC004300-13
Application #
8197190
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-E (04))
Program Officer
Donahue, Amy
Project Start
1999-09-30
Project End
2014-11-30
Budget Start
2011-12-01
Budget End
2012-11-30
Support Year
13
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$361,029
Indirect Cost
$113,749
Name
Father Flanagan's Boys' Home
Department
Type
DUNS #
073136806
City
Boys Town
State
NE
Country
United States
Zip Code
68010
Brennan, Marc A; McCreery, Ryan; Kopun, Judy et al. (2014) Paired comparisons of nonlinear frequency compression, extended bandwidth, and restricted bandwidth hearing aid processing for children and adults with hearing loss. J Am Acad Audiol 25:983-98
Alexander, Joshua M; Kopun, Judy G; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G (2014) Effects of frequency compression and frequency transposition on fricative and affricate perception in listeners with normal hearing and mild to moderate hearing loss. Ear Hear 35:519-32
McCreery, Ryan W; Alexander, Joshua; Brennan, Marc A et al. (2014) The influence of audibility on speech recognition with nonlinear frequency compression for children and adults with hearing loss. Ear Hear 35:440-7
Gustafson, Samantha; McCreery, Ryan; Hoover, Brenda et al. (2014) Listening effort and perceived clarity for normal-hearing children with the use of digital noise reduction. Ear Hear 35:183-94
McCreery, Ryan W; Stelmachowicz, Patricia G (2013) The effects of limited bandwidth and noise on verbal processing time and word recall in normal-hearing children. Ear Hear 34:585-91
McCreery, Ryan W; Brennan, Marc A; Hoover, Brenda et al. (2013) Maximizing audibility and speech recognition with nonlinear frequency compression by estimating audible bandwidth. Ear Hear 34:e24-7
Moeller, Mary Pat; McCleary, Elizabeth; Putman, Coille et al. (2010) Longitudinal development of phonology and morphology in children with late-identified mild-moderate sensorineural hearing loss. Ear Hear 31:625-35
Stelmachowicz, Patricia; Lewis, Dawna; Hoover, Brenda et al. (2010) Effects of digital noise reduction on speech perception for children with hearing loss. Ear Hear 31:345-55
McCreery, Ryan; Ito, Rindy; Spratford, Merry et al. (2010) Performance-intensity functions for normal-hearing adults and children using computer-aided speech perception assessment. Ear Hear 31:95-101
Lewis, Dawna; Hoover, Brenda; Choi, Sangsook et al. (2010) Relationship between speech perception in noise and phonological awareness skills for children with normal hearing. Ear Hear 31:761-8

Showing the most recent 10 out of 27 publications