In October 2017, the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research (JSLHR) published a new Research Forum, Advances in Research on Auditory Attention and the Processing of Complex Auditory Stimuli, based on the 2016 Research Symposium at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention.  The seven papers in this forum are broadly grouped into three areas: 1) the theoretical and neurological underpinnings of attention, especially as this applies to listening in noisy and complex situations; 2) the developmental aspects of listening in complex auditory environments with multiple talkers; and 3) current and future technology that has the potential to improve the ability of people with hearing loss to cope in adverse listening situations.

ASHA has been offering a Research Symposium at its annual convention since 1990. The purpose of this symposium, which is funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), is to bring together researchers, clinicians, and students to learn about recent developments in a focused area. The symposium invites clinicians and researchers who are experts in their fields to discuss current research that has important implications for the study of communication sciences and disorders (CSD).

Karen Helfer, the symposium coordinator and guest editor for the research forum, said “My goal in selecting the speakers for this symposium was to choose people who were conducting research on various aspects of this broad topic and who could relay their expertise in a manner that would be clear and compelling to the range of audience members.” Now that the Research Forum has published, Dr. Helfer expects “these thought-provoking papers [to] spark interest in both researchers and clinicians: in researchers to continue to study the factors that influence the ability to cope in complex listening situations; and in clinicians, who diagnose and treat individuals who experience problems in these situations on a daily basis.”

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Helfer, K. S. (2017). Introduction to the research symposium forum. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 2974–2975.

Shinn-Cunningham, B. (2017). Cortical and sensory causes of individual differences in selective attention ability among listeners with normal hearing thresholds. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 2976–2988.

Sussman, E. S. (2017). Auditory scene analysis: An attention perspective. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 2989–3000.

Leibold, L. J. (2017). Speech perception in complex acoustic environments: Developmental effects. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 3001–3008.

Helfer, K. S., Merchant, G. R., & Wasiuk, P. A. (2017). Age-related changes in objective and subjective speech perception in complex listening environments. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 3009–3018.

Dorman, M. F., & Gifford, R. H. (2017). Speech understanding in complex listening environments by listeners fit with cochlear implants. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 3019–3026.

Kidd, G., Jr. (2017). Enhancing auditory selective attention using a visually guided hearing aid. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 60, 3027–3038.

Related Presentation Videos

When the Ears Interact with the Brain  featuring Barbara Shinn-Cunningham

Auditory Scene Analysis: An Attention Perspective featuring Elyse Sussman

How Aging Affects Speech Understanding in the Presence of Competing Speech featuring Karen Helfer

The Development of Hearing Under Complex Listening Conditions  featuring Lori Leibold

Speech Understanding by Cochlear Implant Patients in Complex Listening Environments featuring Michael Dorman

Understanding Speech in Complex Acoustic Environments featuring Gerald Kidd