The Child Hearing Research Laboratory is the site for studies on the development of hearing and listening abilities in young children. Not only a child’s ability to hear sounds, but also their ability to understand them, has been a focus of research.
Projects supported in the laboratory address how normally developing children process auditory information and how those abilities change with maturation, how processing may be disrupted in children with language and/or learning disorders, how auditory and learning skills may be affected by poor acoustic environments, and how performance on behavioural tests correlates with physiologic development as derived from evoked potential studies.
The Child Hearing Research Laboratory includes a full sized sound booth and equipment for stimulus and experimental control. Using both custom developed and commercially available software they are able to test the psychoacoustic abilities of preschool- and early school-aged children as well as adults.
A critical component of fitting devices is determining successful outcomes, not just at the time of fitting but long after. For young children a device should facilitate good hearing and speech development including speech production. Speech production depends on good quality auditory input and is a useful indicator of hearing intervention success.
Likewise, when the devices are worn by young children with much smaller ear canals electroacoustic characteristics of the device perform very differently than the larger, less compliant ear of the adult listener.
Prudence Allen, PhD, is the director of the Child Hearing Research Laboratory and the Director of the National Centre for Audiology. Dr. Allen studies auditory assessment of children. She has developed rigorous and efficient collection of normal behavioural hearing data from young children.
519-661-2111 ext. 88944