Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University
Interactive learning environment for optimizing technology use
Current clinical and home training programs for auditory rehabilitation use an intensive learning paradigm, a supervised training regime focusing on the use of important acoustic and contextual cues. This contrasts with principles of implicit learning that model perceptual learning in real-life, natural circumstances, and emphasize spontaneous exploration of the environment. The goal of this project is to develop a prototype training/counseling program to simulate different real-life listening conditions so that a person can experience both the benefits and limitations of their hearing devices, and develop realistic auditory rehabilitation goals and expectations. To accomplish this, the training program utilizes an individualized and interactive learning environment, consisting of soundscapes that represent a variety of listening situations with varying degrees of difficulty, and which change in response to user input. The program is based on self-directed exploration of the relationship between (i) acoustic factors that affect hearing/sound processing, and (ii) technological solutions and communication strategies that are aimed at improving sound detection, speech comprehension, and the overall listening experience. Simulations of real-life listening conditions allow a self-structured direct experience that neither traditional auditory training nor informational counseling provide.