Dr. Gordon-Salant's research focuses on understanding the factors that contribute to speech perception difficulties experienced by older listeners. The work addresses the impact of numerous listener factors, including age-related decline in hearing sensitivity, neural pathways in the central auditory nervous system (the brain), and cognitive abilities. The techniques employed include speech perception and psychoacoustic (non-speech) behavioral experiments in which the timing characteristics of the signals are manipulated, consistent with the theory that much of the problem experienced by older listeners is associated with deficits in temporal processing. Experiments also varythe cognitive load imposed to tease out the contribution of decline in working memory, selective attention, and speed of processing. An important aspect of the work is to present stimuli that older listeners encounter in everyday listenting conditions, including speech in noise, fast speech, and accented speech.
Sandra Gordon-Salant, Ph.D. is Professor and Director of both the Doctoral Program in Clinical Audiology and of Graduate Studies in the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the University of Maryland. She earned her Ph.D. in Audiology at Northwestern University. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, Associate Editor of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America – Express Letters, and member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Committees on Disability Determination for Individuals with Hearing Impairments and Medical Evaluation of Veterans for Disability Determination. Her research interests include the effects of aging and hearing loss on auditory processes, as well as signal enhancement devices for hearing-impaired listeners. She has published over 80 articles and book chapters on the topic of age-related hearing loss and speech understanding problems of older people. She is the senior author of the book, The Aging Auditory System. Dr. Gordon-Salant received the prestigious James Jerger Career Award for Research in Audiology in 2009, became a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2011, and received the Kawana Award for lifetime achievement in publications from ASHA in 2013. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health since 1986.
- Auditory temporal processes, speech perception and aging
- Speech processing algorithms for elderly listeners with hearing loss
- Impact of auditory-visual distraction on communication
- Functional hearing evaluation for military occupational specialties