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Indiana University Bloomington

Research

The Audiology Research Laboratory (ARL) has been in existence since 1978, residing at Vanderbilt University from 1978-1986, then moving to Indiana University in June of 1986. The focus of the laboratory has consistently been on behavioral research with adults, both those having normal hearing and those with impaired hearing. Research in the ARL is centered on behavioral measurement of various aspects of auditory perception for simple and complex sounds, including speech. Since about 1990, the ARL began to explore auditory perceptual deficits in older adults, individuals who not only often have peripheral hearing loss, but who may also have concomitant central-auditory or cognitive problems as well. This work has consisted of both basic laboratory investigation of auditory perception and clinical research examining the benefits provided by hearing aids to older adults. The ARL is fortunate to have been supported by a variety of Federal funding agencies continuously since its inception in 1978, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Veterans Administration (VA, Rehabilitative Research and Engineering), and especially, the National Institutes of Health (the National Institute of Aging, NIA, and the National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders, NIDCD). Most of the ongoing research activities of the ARL are centered around two research projects funded by the NIA. These two projects are summarized briefly as follows: Speech Recognition by the Hearing Impaired Elderly (R01-AG-008293-16): This project seeks to identify peripheral, central-auditory, and cognitive factors that contribute to the speech-understanding difficulties of older adults with impaired hearing. Both laboratory and clinical research is conducted in this project and the focus in recent years has been on the perception of amplified speech by older adults. Studies are also ongoing that evaluate interventions, such as auditory training, aimed at reducing the speech-understanding deficits experienced by older adults when listening to amplified speech, especially in backgrounds of competing speech. Studies of the Optimal 'Dosing' of an Auditory-training Program (R01-DC-010135-01): This project is an evaluation of the dosage and duration for an innovative auditory-training program designed to improve the speech recognition performance of older adults listening in noise. The training program has been demonstrated previously to be efficacious in prior studies. Here, the focus is on the best dosage, 90-minute sessions either two or three times per week (2x/wk and 3x/wk, respectively), and the best duration (5, 10, or 15 weeks for 3x/wk and 8, 16, or 24 weeks for 2x/wk) to use with this training program.

Audiology Research Lab Group 2013