Kathryn Arehart directs the Hearing Research Lab which focuses on understanding auditory perception and the impact hearing loss has on listening in complex auditory environments. The lab also aims to improve outcomes for adults who wear hearing aids by considering the perceptual response of listeners to different types of hearing aid signal processing. Current projects include 1) studying the interactive effects of age, hearing loss and cognition (working memory) on how listeners benefit from hearing aid technologies 2) improving our understanding of and ability to predict how hearing aids will affect speech intelligibility and the sound quality of both music and speech; and 3) investigating how we can preserve natural soundscape perception for people wearing hearing aids including when sounds are being conveyed by remote microphones.
Christine Brennan's research focuses on improving our understanding of how organization of the auditory cortex for phonological information may differ in children with and without dyslexia. Dr. Brennan is the director of the ANCAR Lab (Applied Neuroscience for Communication and Reading), located in SLHS. Research projects in the ANCAR lab utilize standardized behavioral measures, experimental tasks, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). Imaging is conducted at the Intermountain Neuroimaging Consortium in Boulder, Colorado.
Pui Fong Kan directs the Child Language Learning Lab. Dr. Kan’s research focuses on child language learning, language disorders, and bilingualism. Her research examines the cognitive and language processing in monolingual and bilingual children. Specifically, she examines the roles of language experience and cognitive processing ability in language learning. Her current projects investigate: 1) the language input of children who are exposed a minority language (L1) at home and start to learn a second language (L2) in school settings; 2) the growth curves of bilingual children’s vocabulary development in L1 and in L2; 3) the word learning processes in typically-developing bilingual children and bilingual children with language impairments.
Gail Ramsberger’s research focuses on improving rehabilitation for people with aphasia. She is not only interested in designing better assessment methods that provide information needed in order to design individually appropriate treatments, but also in studying the effects of various treatment approaches that target language as well as nonlinguistic cognitive impairments that interfere with communication success. Her research utilizes small group and single-participant designs. Previous work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the James S. McDonnell Foundation.
Neeraja Sadagopan's research is focused on characterizing speech motor plasticity and performance in young and elderly participants. Research projects conducted in the Speech Research Lab, directed by Dr. Sadagopan, utilize kinematic, behavioral and acoustic measures of speech production to examine the influence of various factors (e.g., age, practice schedules, sleep) on participants’ ability to acquire and retain novel speech sequences.
Dr. Anu Sharma directs the Brain and Behavior Laboratory. Her research focuses on examining cortical re-organization and neuroplasticity as a result of auditory deprivation in children and adults with hearing loss. She uses cortical auditory evoked potentials, high-density EEG and other brain imaging techniques in conjunction with behavioral experiments. Current projects include: 1) Examining cross-modal cortical re-organization (in which other sensory modalities such as vision and somatosensation recruit auditory areas for processing) in children and adults with hearing loss, cochlear implants and hearing aids; 2) Examining the relationship between brain changes in age-related hearing loss and cognition; 3) Examining sensitive periods for cortical development in deaf children who are fitted with cochlear implants; 4) Understanding brain development in children with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder (ANSD) and how it relates to outcomes; 5) Developing clinical biomarkers of central auditory processing and development; 6) Exploring the use of tele-medicine in audiology and related fields.