AHH seminar: Evoked responses to speech: Improving measurement, understanding limitations and exploring clinical applications

A/Prof. Steven Bell

Speaker: A/Prof. Steven Bell
Date: Monday 8 July
Time: 10.00am – 11.30am
Location: Australian Hearing Hub, Level 1, Lecture Theatre 

10.00am – 10.05am – Welcome
10.05am – 10.45am – Presentation
11.45am – 11.00am – Q & A
11.00am – 11.30am – Networking & Refreshments

Measuring evoked responses to speech is generally more challenging than evoking responses to repeating artificial stimuli. A number of methods have been proposed to measure speech evoked responses including brainstem responses to repeating consonant-vowel stimuli, envelope following responses to voiced speech, cortical responses to consonants and decoding the envelope of running speech from cortical activity. Our group is interested in optimising the detection of such responses, understanding measurements limitations (for example reliability and measurement time) and assessing potential clinical applications such as evaluating hearing aid function.

This presentation will summarise findings from a recent collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Manchester and Imperial College that explored measurement approaches for evoked responses to speech with an aim to use such responses to optimise hearing aid fittings for individuals.  Improvements to response measurement arising from the project include better statistical detection of envelope following responses, relatively fast measurement of cortical responses to sentences and a new approach for measuring brainstem responses to running speech.

Using running speech has good face validity to evaluate hearing aids. Cortical responses to running speech can be measured in a reasonable time scale in the majority of older adults with mild to moderate presbycusis, so they have potential as a clinical measurement tool. Cortical responses to speech do not appear not very sensitive to the effects of hearing aid gain for mild to moderate high frequency loss, although we have not tested the effects for more severe losses or higher gains. The detection of brainstem responses to running speech appears relatively low for older adults compared to younger normal hearing subjects and this may limit the clinical application of speech brainstem responses in adults compared to cortical measures.

Future applications of evoked responses to running speech could include the prediction of speech in noise performance or exploring auditory processing disorders.

Dr Steven Bell is Associate Professor of Audiology within Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Southampton. He is a registered Clinical Scientist and coordinates the MSc in Audiology at Southampton. His primary area of research involves evoked responses: Measuring electrical responses from the hearing and balance system in response to sensory stimulation. He is also interested in methods to test human balance and to evaluate the benefits of hearing aids and cochlear implants. His research has been supported by bodies including Action on Hearing Loss, the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC), the Oticon Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research and he recently led the EPSRC project ‘Personalized fitting and evaluation of hearing aids with EEG responses’.

Registration:  Entry is free and open to the public.

Please register by Wednesday 3 July 2019 to louise.dodd@mq.edu.au