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Arnold School of Public Health


Projects in the Speech Perception Laboratory focus on understanding speech under adverse listening conditions. Specific focus is given to identifying the acoustic and linguistic properties of speech that are the most informative under different listening conditions. We are particularly interested in how aging and hearing impairment modifies the perceptual use of these informative speech properties. The goal of all of our projects is to improve the programming of assistive listening devices and design of training protocols.


Projects in Auditory Cognitive Science:

The USC Speech Perception Laboratory studies speech understanding difficulties under adverse listening conditions with specific clinical applications.  Primary research themes are as follows:

  1. The Identification of Speech from Partial Information: This project investigates how listeners process speech when only partial information is available due to competing or interrupting noise sources, such as a competing talker.
  2. Perceptual Processing of Speech Cues by Young and Older Listeners: This project investigates how age, hearing impairment, and the noisy environment influence a listener’s ability to process different speech cues.  Digital signal processing methods are used to investigate behavioral and psychophysical abilities.
  3. Temporal Processing Abilities of Older Adults: This work investigates how older adults are able to process rapid acoustic events. Particular focus is given to how temporal processing abilities contribute to perceptually separating out competing talkers.

Research Funding

The Speech Perception Laboratory has been fortunate to receive funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIDCD R03-DC012506 and R01-DC015465). Additional information regarding some of this funding may be found on the Arnold School of Public Health news page.

Additional research support has also been provided by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.