The goal of this research project is to establish the use of temporal resolution data in hearing-aid research for eventual use in hearing-aid fittings. One reason adults with hearing loss exhibit poorer speech recognition than normal hearing adults might be that current amplification may not always provide sufficient access to the temporal cues in speech. Current hearing-aid fitting methods attempt to maximize speech intelligibility, speech audibility, or restore normal loudness but might fall short of those goals. Incorporating measures of temporal resolution could lead to improved speech recognition. To facilitate the use of temporal-resolution data in the fitting of hearing aids, this project will obain measures of temporal resolution under conditions of amplification for the first aim. These data will be compared to measures of temporal resolution obtained for listeners with normal-hearing sensitivity. This methodology will allow us to test the ability of current hearing-aid fitting methds to provide access to temporal cues and to restore normal temporal resolution.
The second aim will evaluate the effectiveness of restoring normal temporal resolution to optimize sentence recognition. The objective is to gain insight into what measures of temporal resolution can be used to optimize speech understanding. By knowing this information, hearing-aid fittings could be optimized to provide access to temporal information;possibly leading to improved speech recognition for listeners with hearing loss.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed research is relevant to public health because it address the communication difficulties experienced by individuals with hearing loss. Specifically, the goal of this project is to advance the optimization of hearing aid amplification.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F32)
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Communication Disorders Review Committee (CDRC)
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Sklare, Dan
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Father Flanagan's Boys' Home
Boys Town
United States
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Brennan, Marc A; McCreery, Ryan W; Buss, Emily et al. (2018) The Influence of Hearing Aid Gain on Gap-Detection Thresholds for Children and Adults With Hearing Loss. Ear Hear 39:969-979
Brennan, Marc; McCreery, Ryan; Kopun, Judy et al. (2016) Masking Release in Children and Adults With Hearing Loss When Using Amplification. J Speech Lang Hear Res 59:110-21
Brennan, Marc A; McCreery, Ryan W; Jesteadt, Walt (2015) The influence of hearing-aid compression on forward-masked thresholds for adults with hearing loss. J Acoust Soc Am 138:2589-97
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
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