Tuesday, April 17 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Hedco Neurosciences Building (HNB), HNB 100 auditorium
3641 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Click here for more information on Dr. Bryan E. Pfingst.
DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
Our Auditory Prosthesis Perception and Psychophysics laboratories are dedicated to the restoration of hearing in profoundly deaf and severely hearing impaired individuals. We use a combination of animal research and research in human subjects who have cochlear implants to test and improve devices and procedures for providing useful hearing to people who have become severely hearing impaired due to genetics, trauma, aging or other causes.
Our research is conducted in two behavioral laboratories (animal and human) which function both independently and in close collaboration with other laboratories at the Kresge Hearing Research Institute. In the animal laboratory, psychophysical studies are conducted in guinea pigs that are trained using positive reinforcement operant conditioning procedures. Psychophysical, neurophysiological and histological data from the guinea pigs collected in collaboration with other laboratories are used to develop hypotheses about mechanisms of electrical-induced prosthetic hearing that are then tested with further experiments in the animals and with psychophysical and speech recognition experiments in the human subjects.
Our experiments focus on two approaches for improving prosthetic hearing: (1) improving the condition of the neural population that receives electrical stimulation from the implanted prostheses and (2) improving the patterns of electrical stimulation delivered to the implanted electrodes.
Results from auditory prosthesis research in many laboratories around the world have lead to prosthetic devices today that can provide good speech recognition ability to deaf adults and children. Research is now focused on further improvements in speech recognition in difficult listening environments and on improving perception of music.