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

Audiologists’ practices in cochlear implant services

This project entails a collaborative effort from Dr. Rout at JMU and Dr. Heiner at Virginia Commonwealth University on understanding the audiological services for individuals using cochlear implants in clinical settings. An AuD student has completed the dissertation and published a peer-reviewed journal article.

Speech perception in noisy environments by children: Effects of peripheral and central factors

This project has been supported by the Teaching/Research Grant from the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. Three AuD students have completed their dissertations in this area and served as coauthors in a peer-reviewed journal article.

The attentional effect on 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.

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. 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.