Laboratory for Auditory Perception in Children and Adults

Focus of Lab

Our lab focuses to study whether and how hearing loss affects the ability to use auditory cues for speech understanding differently in children and adults. The findings will inform researchers and clinicians which auditory cues are more accessible and important to individuals with hearing loss at a given age. Additionally, we seek approaches to compensate for the vital cues that are inaccessible to children and adults with hearing loss. The findings will provide insights for the design of sensory aids (e.g., hearing aids and cochlear implants) and auditory rehabilitation tools.

To fulfil our research goals, we conduct experiments in which participants perform listening tasks to identify target signals. Participants are individuals with normal hearing, or with hearing loss, or using cochlear implants. The signals involve natural speech, synthetic speech, and non-speech sounds presented in the presence or absence of various types of noise. With careful manipulations on physical properties (i.e., auditory cues) of signals and background noise, analysis of participants’ performance will provide answers to our research questions.

Personnel

Alumni

Current Projects

* denotes student coauthor

Differential effect of amplitude modulation interference across speech frequency regions in adults and children with normal hearing and hearing loss

This project has been supported by the Teaching/Research Grant from the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. Portions of the results have been presented at the following two scholar meetings in 2015.

The attentional effect on the build-up of stream segregation in cochlear implant users

This project has been supported by the Teaching/Research Grant from the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. A paper was published at Frontiers in Psychology in 2015. An AuD student and an Honors student have completed  their dissertation and thesis in this area. Both students have presented their work at regional and national scholarly conferences.

Psychophysical mechanisms underlying reduced temporal masking release in hearing-impaired listeners and cochlear implant users

A manuscript analyzing and discussing a portion of the results has been submitted.

Recent Peer-Reviewed Journal Publications

* denotes student coauthor

Opportunities to Participate in Our Research

If you are interested in participating in our studies, please send email to either nieyx@jmu.edu or auditory.jmu@gmail.com. Alternatively, you can leave a voice message at 540-999-5221. If you meet the criteria, we will compensate your time for $10-12/hour and provide free parking during your participation. Currently, we are looking for the following two groups of volunteers to listen to some beeps, melodies, or utterances.