Research at the NCA

The National Centre for Audiology (NCA) is an interdisciplinary research centre located at Western University. Housed within the Faculty of Health Sciences, the NCA also has investigators in the faculties, departments, and programs of Engineering, Anatomy & Cell Biology, Psychology, Otolaryngology and Neuroscience. We have deep collaborative relationships with clinical and industrial partners in the hearing technology sector worldwide.

The NCA was formed in 2001 with infrastructure support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and became a senate-approved research centre in 2004. Our Centre received renewed senate re-approval in 2008 and 2011, and an extension while we considered moving to Institute status in 2014. After review of Institute versus Centre status, we have formed a consensus to remain a Centre, because the governance model is more suited to our ongoing needs.

NCA membership has grown from four Principal Investigators to seventeen, and this group has maintained a thriving, growing research centre since 2001. We engage in research supported by national granting councils, by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, and by contracts with government and industry. We seek to understand the hearing system and its disorders, optimize hearing assessment, provide beneficial hearing technologies, support evidence-based, person-centred, and family-centred practices, and develop models and simulations for professional education and practice. We share new findings and innovations with the hearing health and technology sector, educational institutions, and with our international colleagues in research.

We have developed highly-specialized shared research facilities for studying spatial and binaural hearing in acoustically-controlled environments, for the measurement and analysis of sound, for advanced diagnostics with a strong focus on measures of auditory electrophysiology, and for sharing our knowledge through meetings and teleconferencing. Coming together to form this multidisciplinary research collective has allowed us to tackle challenging questions about normal hearing and its development, better understand hearing disorders facing individuals of all ages, better appreciate and understand clinical demands and needs while we see direct application of our research. As a group we are competitive for large-scale infrastructure and operating grants, enabling us to provide our students with unrivaled access to some of the finest research facilities anywhere in the world. The multidisciplinary character of the NCA ensures training opportunities in hearing research at the global level.

Research Clusters

Research Clusters

Research in the NCA is described here in three clusters of activity. The Hearing Science and Assessment Cluster considers the structure and function of the ear and hearing systems, using imaging and models, physiological measures, and psychoacoustic measures. The Hearing (re)Habilitation Cluster studies and develops interventions for hearing loss, including hearing aids, cochlear implants, and programs of aural (re)habilitation. The Implementation Cluster designs systems, protocols and programs of service delivery with a focus on partnership, evidence-based practice, and knowledge translation.

Learn more about our Research Clusters.