Developing games to improve auditory processing abilities
Erick Gallun, Aaron Seitz
National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research, Portland and Oregon Health Science University; University of California, Riverside
Successful speech communication in noisy environments is essential for many of life’s most rewarding activities, and the ability to function in noise is something many of us take for granted. Auditory processing abilities are not guaranteed however. Furthermore, the number of peripheral and central nervous system functions that must work together to make this happen is truly remarkable. The flip side of this web of interacting abilities is the fact that dysfunction can come in many flavors and finding the cause can be very hard. For this reason, rehabilitation of auditory processing disorders must rely upon techniques that will benefit a wide range of potential etiologies of dysfunction. The first half of this talk will describe several studies that have revealed the types of spatial and spectrotemporal deficits that can accompany peripheral hearing loss, aging, and acquired brain injury. In the second half, we will turn our attention to the possibilities that exist for retraining a damaged nervous system to process sound in ways that will better support communication and navigation in complex auditory environments.