Speech Auditory Feedback & Evoked Responses Lab

About the Lab

Research in the Speech, Auditory Feedback and Evoked Responses (SAFER) Lab examines the human auditory system and the role that it plays in speech production. When we talk, the sound of our own voice is important in the accurate maintenance of speech. We study this by changing speech sounds in real-time (altered auditory feedback) and observing the influence on talking. We also study the auditory system by recording the sounds produced by the ear (otoacoustic emissions) or the electrical activity generated by the brain (auditory electrophysiology) in response to sound. We are particularly interested in the brain's response to speech sounds (speech evoked potentials) that include envelope following responses (EFR, ASSR) and frequency following responses (FFR).

We are interested in developing new ways of using the objective measurements that we have available from the electroencephalogram (EEG), as well as relating these to performance in perceptual tasks. For example, our recent work has explored the brain's envelope following response (the EFR) to individual vowel formants and consonants in speech. These vowel responses may have a practical application in validating newly fit hearing aids in very young listeners. We are also interested in how the brain follows the fine structure of speech, the frequency following response (the FFR).

Recruiting Graduate Students

Funded thesis-based master's and PhD degrees can be pursued in the SAFER Lab through the Hearing Science field in the Health & Rehabilitation Sciences Graduate Program or through the Graduate Program in Neuroscience . A funded, combined PhD and clinical master's in Audiology (MClSc) is also an option. The research areas pursued in my laboratory will be of interest to students from psychology, neuroscience, communication sciences, physiology, medical biophysics, life sciences, health sciences, and other related areas.

More Lab Information

For more information about the Speech Auditory Feedback and Evoked Responses Lab, visit: nca.uwo.ca/purcell