The present proposal seeks funding for an international and interdisciplinary research conference entitled, Aging and Speech Communication, to be held at Indiana University, October 23-26, 2005. The primary purpose of the conference is to bring together researchers working around the world in the areas of sensory perceptual processing, especially hearing, and cognitive processing to share their latest research findings with regard to aging and speech communication. Speech communication is an ability that involves both sensory encoding of acoustic information and the processing of that information by higher cognitive centers. Aging is known to impact both the peripheral sense of hearing and some cognitive functions that may be critical to making sense of the peripherally degraded auditory input. Scientists working in each area have been approaching this problem from their respective perspectives, often not fully appreciating or understanding the issues and information available from those viewing the same problem from the opposite perspective. This research conference seeks to bridge that gap between the members of the """"""""top-down"""""""" and """"""""bottom-up"""""""" research communities to address this special problem of speech communication in older adults. It is hoped that by doing so new Insights into the complex nature of the problem might lead to novel approaches to the improvement of speech communication in older adults.