Those over the age of 65 years represent the most rapidly growing group within the U.S. population. Approximately 25% of these individuals have significant hearing loss that interferes with everyday communication. Nonetheless, of those elderly who could benefit from the use of hearing aids, only about 20% actually seek them out and, of those who do purchase hearing aids, many are dissatisfied with them or discontinue using them. This project seeks to identify factors that underlie the successful use of hearing aids and to develop ways to improve the benefit received from hearing aids by the elderly. There are two primary components to the proposed project: (1) an examination of laboratory-based measures of cognitive function, especially attention, and their association with the speech-understanding performance of elderly hearing-aid wearers while they are wearing their hearing aids; and (2) a clinical investigation of the factors underlying individual differences in subjective benefit, satisfaction, and hearing aid usage among elderly hearing-aid wearers. For the laboratory studies, a series of experiments is proposed in each of three areas: (1) age- and hearing-loss-related differences in selective attention to different cues in multidimensional, speech-like sounds; (2) the role of cognitive factors, either lexical memory or selective attention, in the improvement of aided speech-recognition performance with training; and (3) the interaction of selective and divided attention with another key cognitive ability, working-memory capacity, and the contributions of these cognitive factors to the recognition of speech while other speech is in the background. The clinical study, on the other hand, seeks to determine how many dimensions of hearing-aid outcome are represented by measures of hearing-aid satisfaction, usage, and subjective benefit. Specifically, do these measures represent one, two or three separate aspects of hearing-aid outcome? In addition, variables underlying individual differences in each measure of outcome will be identified so that performance along each dimension can be both better understood and enhanced. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-IFCN-6 (01))
Program Officer
Finkelstein, Judith A
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Indiana University Bloomington
Other Health Professions
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Humes, Larry E; Kidd, Gary R; Fogerty, Daniel (2017) Exploring Use of the Coordinate Response Measure in a Multitalker Babble Paradigm. J Speech Lang Hear Res 60:741-754
Fogerty, Daniel; Humes, Larry E; Busey, Thomas A (2016) Age-Related Declines in Early Sensory Memory: Identification of Rapid Auditory and Visual Stimulus Sequences. Front Aging Neurosci 8:90
Humes, Larry E; Kidd, Gary R (2016) Speech recognition for multiple bands: Implications for the Speech Intelligibility Index. J Acoust Soc Am 140:2019
Humes, Larry E; Young, Levi A (2016) Sensory-Cognitive Interactions in Older Adults. Ear Hear 37 Suppl 1:52S-61S
Krull, Vidya; Humes, Larry E (2016) Text as a Supplement to Speech in Young and Older Adults. Ear Hear 37:164-76
Humes, Larry E (2016) A Retrospective Examination of the Effect of Diabetes on Sensory Processing in Older Adults. Am J Audiol 25:364-367
Humes, Larry E (2015) Age-Related Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Focus on Middle-Aged Adults. Am J Audiol 24:94-7
Krull, Vidya; Humes, Larry E; Kidd, Gary R (2013) Reconstructing wholes from parts: effects of modality, age, and hearing loss on word recognition. Ear Hear 34:e14-23
Humes, Larry E; Kidd, Gary R; Lentz, Jennifer J (2013) Auditory and cognitive factors underlying individual differences in aided speech-understanding among older adults. Front Syst Neurosci 7:55
Fogerty, Daniel; Kewley-Port, Diane; Humes, Larry E (2012) The relative importance of consonant and vowel segments to the recognition of words and sentences: effects of age and hearing loss. J Acoust Soc Am 132:1667-78

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