WRITER: JENNIFER DUFF
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
University of Iowa speech pathology professor receives $700,000 research
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa researcher has been awarded
a five-year, $700,000 grant to continue work on speech recognition by persons
with hearing impairments.
Dr. Christopher Turner, UI professor of speech pathology and audiology,
received the grant from the National Institutes of Deafness and other Communicative
Disorders (part of the National Institutes of Health) for a project titled
"Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants and Speech Recognition." The
grant is a renewal of a project originally funded since 1989. Since then,
the direction of the project has evolved to include the study of patients
with cochlear implants.
"We want to see how well each of these kinds of patients use the
different parts of speech information. One interesting result of the study
so far is the finding that some patients with cochlear implants can make
better use of some parts of the speech signal than some patients with severe
hearing loss who use hearing aids," Turner says.
The study has two parts. The first examines the amount of auditory information
that patients with hearing aids can handle.
"Progress is being made on signal processing schemes that move
speech information into frequency regions that still have usable hearing,"
The second part of the study involves cochlear implant patients and
aims toward methods to better adjust the implants for the patients' ears.
Both aspects of the study involve lowering the frequency to regions
where patients still have good hearing.