PhD, University of Minnesota
Amplification and Speech Perception of the Hearing Impaired
CD A 1.07
Following a master's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, I began my clinical experience as a speech pathologist in the public schools and subsequently an audiologist in medical settings. My PhD in Hearing Science from the University of Minnesota led to teaching and research in the area of Aural Rehabilitation at the University of Texas at Austin. Having joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas in 1996, I have continued my primary research interest in the relationship between psychoacoustic processing and speech perception. In order to study this relationship, careful measures of speech recognition, particularly in noise, are needed. Studies have been conducted to adapt procedures used to evaluate speech recognition in the laboratory to more feasible clinical paradigms for both children and adults. Likewise, psychoacoustic measures of temporal processing have been modified for use with children in clinical settings. By using these sensitive yet clinically practical tools, we have shown that auditory training paradigms intended to improve temporal processing may not actually be effective and should be used with caution. For persons with impaired hearing, it is important to not only accurately document their speech recognition performance but also determine optimal amplification strategies. Through the use of these sensitive measures, one can address the benefits of restoring audibility of high-frequency information. My research in this area has been supported as a principal investigator of a FIRST award and co-investigator on an RO1 from the National Institute for Deafness and other Communicative Disorders.
My secondary research interest is the evaluation of auditory training approaches and assistive devices designed to enhance speech recognition. Electroacoustic measurements are made of devices used in auditory training to evaluate the nature of the signal with respect to safe intensity levels, stability across various coupling methods, and range of acoustic modifications imposed by the equipment. A new way has been discovered to use techniques designed to evaluate performance of hearing aids for the evaluation of the performance of FM systems with cochlear implants. The benefits of these assistive devices has now been demonstrated with both children and adults and also electroacoustically. My work in this area is closely related to my teaching for which I have developed a training specialization in Pediatric Aural Habilitation. Through training grants from the Office of Special Education, students in speech pathology and audiology are recruited to complete a prescribed set of curriculum and practicum experiences in order to become experts in maximizing the auditory communication of children with hearing loss.
My primary research interest is the relationship between psychoacoustic processing and possible benefits from amplification circuits. My secondary research interest is the evaluation of auditory training approaches and assistive devices designed to enhance speech recognition.
Schafer, E. and Thibodeau, L. (2004). Speech Recognition Abilities of Adults Using Cochlear Implants with FM Systems. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 15 , 678-691.
Thibodeau, L. (2004). Plotting beyond the Audiogram to the Telegram. Hearing Journal, Vol. 57.
Sorri, M., Piiparinen, P., Huttunen, K., Haho, M., Tobey, E., Thibodeau, L., and Buckley, K. (2003). Hearing aid users benefit from induction loop when using digital cellular phones. Ear and Hearing. 24, 119-32.