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Detection of Tones in Noise

Auditory-nerve model responses

Auditory-nerve model responses to a noise (top) and to a tone+noise (bottom). We hypothesize that differences in the low-frequency fluctuations in the auditory-nerve responses to these stimuli support detection of the tone in noise.

Listeners with normal hearing can understand speech in a typical noisy background much more easily than listeners with hearing loss, even with the help of hearing aids. The goal of this project is to understand the acoustic cues and strategies that can explain results in a tone-in-noise detection task. Furthermore, we want to understand how these strategies change for listeners with hearing loss. We pursue this goal using a classical task: detection of pure tones in noise. We are currently studying detection using physiological, computational, and behavioral methods. We are particularly interested in the differences in the acoustic cues that are used for this task by listeners with both normal hearing and those with hearing loss.

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