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Prosem Lecture: Ants on the Beach: Auditory Ecology, Hearing Aids, and Listening in the Real World
January 31, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Presenter: Erik Jorgensen, Au.D., CCC-A, Ph.D. Candidate, Hearing Aid and Aging Research Laboratory, University of Iowa
Topic: Ants on the Beach: Auditory Ecology, Hearing Aids, and Listening in the Real World
Listening in the real world is not like listening in the lab or clinic. This simple fact is often ignored in audiology research and intervention, leading to a gap between the efficacy of intervention (how well treatments work in a controlled environment) and the effectiveness of those interventions (how well they work in the real world). For example, hearing aid technologies that show consistent benefit in lab tests do not show the same benefit in the real world. Further, most listeners with hearing loss do not use hearing aids, often citing a lack of benefit from hearing aids in daily life. These discrepancies may be understood within the auditory ecology framework, which characterizes the interactions between listeners’ unique perceptual demands, their daily listening environments, and hearing aid outcomes. In this talk, the auditory ecology framework and methods for measuring auditory ecology are described. Then, four studies are presented: the location-dependency of auditory ecological factors, demographic differences in auditory ecology, a machine learning approach for quantify auditory ecology using a large data set, and the effects of acoustic complexity in real-world noise on speech perception. Implications for hearing aid technologies, clinical interventions, and research methods are discussed, as well as the future of ecological validity in audiology and hearing science research.
This research is currently funded by NIH/NIDCD F32 DC018980.
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