We strive to study and understand how speech and non-speech sounds are processed in neonates and adults, as well as in individuals who receive cochlear implants. Our research utilizes auditory evoked potentials, together with the participant’s behavioral responses, as ways to better understand how acoustic and electric sounds are processed in the human brain. Our research consists of the two major themes:
One goal of my research is to help individuals with hearing, speech, and language impairments to adapt to their environments at the earliest possible time. Naturally, the earliest assessment and therapeutic protocols that can be applied is during immediate postnatal days. As such, the research projects related to neonatal speech processing and its development are particularly compelling to me, as it is the first and most important step in developing a normative database for neonates and adults. Completion and establishment of such a database will allow the development of appropriate therapeutic and rehabilitative protocols down the line for infants and children who are at risk of a specific disorder.
Time is of the essence when testing neonates, infants and adults. Importantly, neurocircuitry in neonates are different from those in infants and adults. People who are born and raised in different linguistic environments may have different speech perception and signal-processing mechanisms, even when they are responding to the same speech sounds. One way to better understand the differences is to employ various machine-learning algorithms and computational models on the frequency-following responses with an attempt to make the entire process automatic.
Another goal of my research is to better understand how speech and non-speech sounds are processed in individuals who have received cochlear implants. Auditory evoked potentials, such as the electrically evoked compound action potentials, are often used.
Our lab is housed in the Division of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the School of Rehabilitation and Communication Sciences at Ohio University. Through productive research collaborations with prestigious institutions in the United States and abroad, we are equipped to conduct basic and applied research projects and to help us better understand how the human brain processes acoustic and electric sounds.