School of Communication Sciences and Disorders
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AuD Student Research 2012

On May 3, 2012, students and faculty participated in a colloquium where the third-year AuD students presented the results of their research projects. Each AuD student completes a research project during the second and third years of study. The colloquium provided a setting where students and faculty could discuss their research and share their ideas on a variety of topics. Below is a brief synopsis of the research projects completed this year.

Response Time and Confidence Ratings in Monosyllabic Word Recognition
Chantee Brakeville; Dr. Lisa Lucks Mendel, Research Advisor

This research investigated methods of assessing the effort required by a listener during word recognition testing. The purpose was to study the relationships between a listener’s response time (the time required for the listener to respond to the stimulus), confidence rating (a self-assessment of the listeners’ confidence of the correctness of their response), and confidence response time (the time required for the listener to provide a confidence rating) when monosyllabic words were presented in quiet and in noise. Results suggested that subjects take more time responding to difficult stimuli and that their confidence in their responses accurately reflects their perception of the stimulus item. In addition, this study also showed that as the difficulty of the listening task increased, the subjects’ confidence rating time also increased.  

Measures of Cochlear Efferent Activity and MP3 Player Music Exposure
Paul Carter; Dr. Shaum Bhagat, Research Advisor

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a significant correlation existed between contralateral suppression of Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emissions (TEOAEs) and a decrease in TEOAE amplitude after exposure to MP3 music. Twenty normal hearing subjects were recruited for the project. TEOAEs were measured with and without contralateral suppression before and after thirty minutes of MP3 music presented at 85 dBA. No significant correlation was observed between contralateral suppression and decrease in TEOAE amplitude after exposure to MP3 music.

Spanish Speech Recognition Threshold Test for the Pediatric Population
Rachel Elkins; Dr. Lisa Lucks Mendel, Research Advisor

Although most healthcare fields have sought out efficient methods to accommodate the needs of non-English speaking patients, the field of audiology remains in need of modernized methods for evaluating and assisting this client population. The purpose of this study was to develop a Spanish Speech Recognition Threshold (SRT) Picture Board test to be used with children aged 2 to 5 years. In addition, the goal was to create a two-channel recording (Spanish stimulus item on Channel 1; English translation on Channel 2) for ease of administration and scoring by monolingual clinicians who may be unfamiliar with the Spanish language. Initial steps in test development were completed as part of this project including the selection of stimulus items that were considered to be familiar to children, the creation of pictures representing the stimuli, and recognition of the pictures by Spanish-speaking children. The remaining steps in test development (creating Spanish and English recordings of the stimuli and validating the test on a Spanish-speaking pediatric population) will be completed in the coming year as part of the second phase of this research.

VEMP - A Study on the Impacts of Gender and Height
Katie Isbell; Dr. Shaum Bhagat, Research Advisor

The purpose of this project was to examine the response amplitude differences on the Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP) between 10 male and 10 female subjects who had been matched for height. We also looked for a correlation between neck length or height and amplitude or latency of the VEMP response. Results indicated that gender had no impact on the overall amplitude of the VEMP response. No strong correlations were found between height or neck length and amplitude or latency of the response. It is possible that once a person reaches adult size, gender, height and neck length have no impact on the VEMP response.

Word in Context Intelligibility Test (WICIT) Results Compared Between Children and Young Adults
Elizabeth Meenen; Dr. Herbert J. Gould, Research Advisor

In this study we compared results on the Word in Context Intelligibility Test (WICIT) between young adults and third grade children. Since the WICIT measures how well a person utilizes the context of speech to decode the message, we were interested in how sophisticated children are with this "top-down" processing ability. Our results indicated that children have a lesser ability to utilize context to decode speech in background noise compared to adults. In addition, we evaluated a modified testing protocol that did not utilize the standard sound booth but instead a portable calibrated testing protocol that was proven equivalent to previous testing methods. While much research is still needed, this project provided a beginning step toward the use of the WICIT as part of an Auditory Processing Disorder battery that can be given in schools as a measure of top-down processing abilities in children.  

An Assessment of the Validity of a Subjective Hearing Aid Verification Procedure
Whitney Vineyard; Dr. Robyn M. Cox, Research Advisor

The objective of this research was to determine if a structured subjective test battery could be used to verify that a hearing aid was matching a prescription. Twenty subjects were fit with test hearing aids that were programmed to their hearing loss, and a subjective test battery was used to evaluate soft, average and loud sounds. In addition, real ear measurements were taken to see how close the fitting came to matching the prescription. Results from this study showed that a structured subjective test battery can be used to verify that a hearing aid is working appropriately as a backup method, in case a real ear system is unavailable.

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Last Updated: 8/27/12