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Prosem Lecture: Precision Diagnostics for Personalized Hearing Intervention

January 27, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Presenter: Subong Kim, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Purdue University
Topic: Precision Diagnostics for Personalized Hearing Intervention

In audiology clinics, currently, hearing loss is mainly characterized using threshold audiometry, and hearing intervention is provided to maximize audibility while maintaining comfortable loudness. Yet, even with prescriptive amplification, speech understanding abilities in noisy environments vary substantially across individuals with similar audiograms. Because speech-in-noise perception is considerably more complex than detecting quiet sound, the nature of deficits in suprathreshold hearing likely differ from person to person; however, the physiological bases of such individual variability remain unknown. My research aims to advance our understanding of the precise auditory and cognitive mechanisms leading to impaired hearing, with the intent of improving personalized hearing intervention based on each listener’s physiology. In this presentation, first, I will introduce the notion of cortical “neural signal-to-noise ratio” that can predict individual speech-in-noise outcomes from noise-reduction (NR) processing. Then, I will discuss my approach to building profiles of peripheral pathophysiology and top-down selective attention efficacy to obtain a more detailed characterization of individual hearing loss. I will also describe novel subcortical measures for quantifying individual tolerance to noise and sensitivity to speech-cue distortions. Next, I will demonstrate the effect of NR on cortical speech processing across brain regions beyond the auditory cortex. Lastly, I will describe future research plans, including how I plan to leverage the individual auditory and cognitive profiles to predict behavioral, subcortical, and cortical metrics of speech-in-noise perception outcomes and NR benefits.

This work was supported by the Hearing Health Foundation Emerging Research Grant and Royal National Institute for Deaf People Flexi Grant awarded to Kim.

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January 27, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Waisman Center
1500 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705