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Institute for Sensory Research

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Research


Cochlea Model

Auditory Research...
The human ear can hear the thundering roar of a jet engine and the soft breathing of a sleeping baby. It allows us to perceive speech and enjoy music. It controls our sense of balance and acts as a compass to give us a sense of direction.
AUDITORY PSYCHOPHYSICS OF COCHLEAR IMPLANT USERS

A cochlear implant is a prosthetic device that restores hearing to those who are too deaf to receive benefit from the use of hearing aids, and is an remarkable biotechnological innovation. One of our most recently initiated labs is dedicated to cochlear implant research and development. We are currently in the process of developing custom research interfaces to investigate the perception of different sounds by cochlear implant users. The overall goal is to determine whether auditory processes not currently incorporated in cochlear implants (such as adaptation) can provide a more natural hearing experience through the implant. Another important issue is how to facilitate the understanding of speech in background noises, which is presently a serious problem for cochlear implant users.


ACOUSTIC NOISE PROTECTION

Excessive noise in the environment or the workplace can be damaging to your hearing. Current projects at ISR include the development of new types of hearing protectors that can guard your ears against exposure to damaging loud noises. These hearing protectors have applications in many fields such as industry, aviation, communication, the workplace, and even private life. This work has been protected by national and international patents, and is in the process of being manufactured and distributed.


AUDITORY PSYCHOPHYSICS, PHYSIOLOGY, AND MODELING

We have several labs focused on problems related to the encoding and processing of complex sounds by the brain. We combine physiological, behavioral, and computational modeling techniques to study problems such as detection of auditory signals in the presence of noise, or detection of small fluctuations in signals. The long term goal is to better understand the relationship between responses of the brain and our perception of complex sounds, and to understand why and how hearing impairment has such a profound effect on the ability to understand complex sounds such as speech.


APPLICATION OF PSYCHOPHYSICAL & PHYSIOLOGICAL MODELS TO HEARING DEVICES.

Our brains have an incredible way of separating one sound from another. Some of our labs have been recently applying models based on naturally-occurring biological processes in the brain for detection of signals in noise to develop novel signal-processing strategies for signal detection and noise reduction. These innovative strategies are being applied to continual technological advancements in hearing aids, cochlear implants, telecommunications devices, and in everyday acoustical devices.



Auditory Research Faculty




Karen Doherty, Ph.D
Professor of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
(Speech Perception, Hearing Aids)

Email:

Beth Prieve, Ph.D
Professor of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
(Otoacoustic emissions in infants and children)

Email:

Robert L. Smith, Ph.D
Director of the Institute for Sensory Research, Primary investigator and developer of new center for cochlear implant research at Syracuse University. Professor of Biomedical & Chemical Engineering.
(Cochlear Implants, Auditory Physiology, Neural Engineering)

Email:
Webpage: http://www.isr.syr.edu/faculty/smith.html

Kathy Vander Werff, Ph.D
Professor of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Auditory Research
(Auditory Evoked Potentials and Diagnostic Audiology)

Email:

Jozef J. Zwislocki, Sc.D
Founder of Institute for Sensory Research, Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Emeritus, Member of National Academy of Science.
(Auditory Psychophysics and Biophysics, Inventor)

Email:
Webpage: http://www.isr.syr.edu/faculty/zwislocki.html
Cochlea Model: http://www.isr.syr.edu/zcm/



Institute for Sensory Research | 621 Skytop Road | Syracuse, NY 13244-5290 | (p) 315.443.4164 (f) 315.443.1184